Tempe police say a pet sitter’s been arrested for Animal Cruelty after one dog dies and the other was found in bad shape. Lieutenant Mike Pooley says 21 year old Blake Ballard’s friend asked him to look after the animals while out of town. But, police say, Ballard kept the dogs caged without food or water and even had the home’s air conditioning turned off as hot temperatures began kicking in.

Pooley says when the dogs’ owner, Skylar Pearson, found out last weekend Ballard had abandoned the job, he sent another friend to investigate, who then found a one year old German Shepherd mix dead, and a three year old Beagle-Collie mix underweight and dehydrated. Pearson learned of the neglect after the apartment complex manager left several unanswered fliers about the pets, threatening to take them to the Arizona Humane Society unless someone took over to care for them.

Pooley says Ballard blamed his actions on a “nervous breakdown”, telling police he did not want to care for the dogs, and in fact, has no remorse for what’s happened, including the shock and trauma the pet owner is suffering.

Ballard faces felony and misdemeanor Animal Cruelty charges.

–Barbara Villa