September 28, 2017 – Investigators from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Crimes Unit seized 16 neglected animals from a youth rehabilitation facility in New River. Horses, donkeys, and dogs living at the Remington Deaf Ranch – located at 48411 North Thirty First Avenue – were turned over to MCSO by their owner, Dan Remington. The actions followed complaints from neighbors to the MCSO Animal Crimes Hotline (602-876-1681). They had observed the animals in terrible conditions without food and water. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.

Also found on the ranch were three male (3) teenagers believed to be from Ethiopia, who appeared to be working the property and attending to the animals. They showed no signs of physical abuse. There are unanswered questions as to how they came to reside at the ranch, which is not licensed with the state of Arizona. MCSO immediately contacted The Arizona Department of Child Safety (AZDCS) and that agency opened an inquiry into the welfare of the children.

“Protecting our most vulnerable people is our highest priority,” said Sheriff Paul Penzone. “Thanks to tips from the public, our detectives intervened to assist these young men and stop a horrible situation of animal neglect.”

On September 22, 2017, MCSO District 4 Deputies responded to citizen complaints alleging animal abuse at Remington Deaf Ranch. At the scene, they observed extremely thin horses with injuries. MCSO Animal Crimes Unit obtained a search warrant, and entered the property on September 25, 2017. Detectives noticed all of the horses were very thin with rib, hip, and tail bones visibly protruding through the skin. A black and white paint mare appeared to have difficulty walking as did a miniature donkey with its front hooves curled underneath. Detectives found black and gray dogs, Heelers, infested with ticks and showing symptoms of illness. There was a lack of food and water for all the animals on the property.

MCSO seized eight (8) horses, one (1) foal (baby horse), one (1) miniature donkey, five (5) adult dogs and one (1) puppy. All are in emergency veterinarian care. The Remington Deaf Ranch owner, Mr. Dan Remington told detectives he didn’t have money for a veterinarian to treat the animals and signed over ownership to the MCSO.

The Remington Deaf Ranch claims to have been operating since 2000 and on its website, describes its mission this way:

“Deaf youths on drugs or alcohol are required to stay at the Ranch for a full year to detoxify their systems. Each will receive counseling related to their problem. The ranch provides home schooling, and hands on work experiences for each youth during the year. Once they have finished their year, they are evaluated to determine if the program requirements are satisfied. If they pass they are free to go home as long as they have a mentor or church to check on them for the next year. Youths with rebellion problems will stay for the length of time it takes to help them if less than one year.”

In addition to AZDCS, MCSO has alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and that agency has joined the investigation.

”Caring people are making a difference and helping MCSO deal with situations like this,” said Sheriff Penzone. “We urge you to let us know whenever you see children and animals in trouble.”

Questions about the welfare of the children on the ranch should be directed to AZDCS. MCSO will provide updates on the condition of the animals and the ongoing investigation as events warrant.