Protestors expected at event to honor Sen. Jeff Flake - Fox 2 News Headlines

Sen. Flake talks to protesters rallying for Gilbert 23

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GILBERT, Ariz. - Senator Jeff Flake is receiving national recognition from the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.

But protesters greeted him at the event. A group was speaking out about dogs that died back in June at the Green Acre Boarding Facility.

A place that MCSO say the Senator's son was watching over.

A small group rallying for the Gilbert 23 wasted no time telling Senator Jeff Flake exactly what they want, new laws when it comes to pet boarding.

"You got people just opening up their homes, and nobody checking to make sure they're doing what is right for the animals," said Michelle Putnam.

Sen. Flake shook hands with the crowd; he thanked them and explained it's up to the Arizona State Legislature to enact change.

"I'm not well versed in what the laws are, and what ought to be changed, but I know some of the state legislature have already talked about that," said Sen. Flake.

In June, more than 20 dogs were found dead at the Green Acre Boarding Facility. According to an MCSO report the dogs were locked in a 9 x 12 room. The dogs owners were told that one of the dogs chewed through a wire taking out the air conditioner unit. Autopsies show no signs of electrocution and point to suffocation.

The facility owners were out of town. Their daughter and her husband, Austin Flake, were caring for the animals. MCSO said that Austin referred them to an attorney for comment.

The group is also calling on Jeff Flake to urge his son to come forward and speak with investigators. Senator Flake said that it's not his place to comment on the investigation.

"It would be inappropriate," he said.

The group said the dog owners were lied to. In the MCSO report, it indicates the facility did not show them a small room the dogs would be kept in. So for now those who gathered say it's about accountability and holding the right people responsible.

MCSO is still investigating the facility, no arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed. Deputies say Austin Flake and his wife left the state after the incident.
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