The Investigators

Sep 24, 2013 1:10 AM by Tom McNamara and Paul Birmingham

News 4 Tucson Investigators: Doomed at Dogpatch

TUCSON - It's been called Tucson's killing fields. A place where unwanted animals, from puppies to horses, are taken and then simply left for dead.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators returned to an area in Pima County known as Dogpatch, to see if the problem of animal dumping is getting any better.

The place we're talking about is located just south of the Tucson International Airport, near Country Club, Old Vail Connection and Summit roads.

Over the past several decades, it's become notorious for animal dumping, of creatures both alive, and dead.

Marjorie McKellips with the group Angels for Animals has been coming to Dogpatch for the past several years.

Groups like hers are trying to take care of the animals that are left to fend for themselves in whatever way they can. Spending hours each week, to bring food, water, and other donated necessities to animals that have been all but forgotten.

"When you save a life, then you realize, O.K. it was worth it," McKellips says.

Though, despite their best efforts, not all of Dogpatch's animals can be saved.

Circling scavengers lead Marjorie and her son, Daniel, to a grisly discovery.

"There's no telling how long these remains have been at Dogpatch," McKellips says.

When they do find the animal remains, these volunteers mark the area with a ribbon, then contact the city to come pick it up. Though, that doesn't always happen.

"The likelihood of them getting to this one. Slim to none," McKellips says.

McKellips also tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, despite increased public awareness of the area, the problems at Dogpatch are not going away.

"It goes in cycles. For a while, gosh, we thought we were you know, really making some progress. And then it all kicked up again," McKellips says.

"A lot of dogs from out here come in. And don't come back out," McKellips says.

For workers at the Pima Animal Care Center, Dogpatch is also a frustrating problem without an easy solution. It's hard to understand why people would dump their dogs in such a horrific way, when can bring their to the center, and they will take them off their hands for free.

Steve Montano, with Pima Animal Care tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators, in the two months alone, workers have picked up a dozen dead dogs from Dogpatch.

"Unfortunately, a lot of our job is reactive; we don't go out there unless we get a call. But we also have to balance that area with the rest of Pima county. And, as you know, Pima county is larger than a number of states, and we have a population of a million people, and we have a limited amount of staff officers to deal with that," Montano says.

"This has to stop. There is no excuse for human beings to treat any living creatures this way," McKellips says.

To help combat the problem of unwanted pets, Pima Animal Care Center workers want to remind you to get your pets spayed and neutered.

If you have something you'd like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to look into, email us, at


Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4