UPDATE: More Questions Surrounding Deaths in Arizona

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The death toll rises in Arizona to 20 dogs total in the Green Acres Boarding Facility incident in Arizona.  So far, the only thing agreed upon is the dogs were left in the care of U.S. Senator’s son, Austin Flake.

The facility at Green Acres is owned and operated by two of Flake’s relatives, Jesse and Maleisa Hughes according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.

While the Hughes’ were away on vacation, senator Flake’s son, Austin, was left in charge.  According to initial reports, a dog being cared for overnight at Green Acres chewed his way through an air conditioner cable.  This in turn caused the climate control system to fail where the dogs were held, causing the overheating deaths of 20 of the dogs there.

Flake is calling this an accident, but not everyone is convinced of that.

“It was a tragic accident,” Hughes told CNN. “We are heartbroken, and we’re devastated.”

Hughes said she doesn’t believe that anyone could have prevented the tragedy.

Flake and his wife were sleeping at the facility on the east wing of the home on the property.  Due to the fact that the cooling units responsible for where the dogs were kept overnight is on a different electrical circuit, when the air conditioner died, no one in the home noticed.

This forced the heat in there to get up over 100 degrees.  Regardless, relief from the heat was impossible.  Even in the evening and overnight hours, where the temperatures can dip below 80.

By the time Flake and his wife discovered what had happened, it was already too late.

“It could have burned down our whole house,” Hughes said. “My whole house could have burned down and all my children could have died, and then it would have been a tragedy.”

One of the dogs that died in the incident was her own.

Even with ice brought in and a hose turned on to try and cool them down the suffering dogs, it still wasn’t enough.

The investigation is still ongoing, and more developments are expected.  Stay tuned into www.lifewithdogs.tv for further updates.