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North Valley homeowner to face charges in animal cruelty case

Staff Report~ 1/7/2015

DESERT HILLS – Local homeowner Andrea Mikkel is facing charges after over 100 animals were found on her Desert Hills property on Jan. 5, living in deplorable conditions. Sheriff’s detectives are referring to the animal cruelty case as “one of the worst they have ever seen.”

Two zebras were among the animals on the property at 2005 West Desert Hills Estate (south of Meridian Drive and north of Cloud Road). Authorities are attempting to find a safe place for them.

“The zebras remain at the residence, but we are reaching out to wildlife experts at this time for their removal due to their extreme aggression,” said Joaquin Enriquez of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Other animals removed from the home included 16 cats, 15 birds, 11 dogs, four miniature horses, three pigeons, two turkeys, two horses, one rooster, one rabbit, one chicken, and one pig.

“The birds included parakeets, cockatoos, and small birds,” Enriquez noted. “The dogs were a variety, to include an English bulldog, Chihuahua, beagles, and mixes. There was a variety of cats that were removed.”

Enriquez noted that homeowner Mikkel was being questioned at the MCSO substation “when she ripped the aluminum tab from a soda can and swallowed it. The tab got stuck in her throat and she was transported to the hospital by the fire department.”

Mikkel was admitted to the hospital on the night of Jan. 5 instead of being processed into jail, but she will still be facing an individual charge of animal cruelty for every animal removed from the house.

“There will continue to be follow up in this case, and Andrea (Mikkel) will be charged for all of the violations,” Enriquez said. “At this time, the charges she faces are misdemeanor but can change if more evidence exists after the vet’s examination. All the animals were taken to the vet to be checked out and then will make their way to Tent City and the MASH unit.”