- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A judge has ruled the Arizona Department of Agriculture was correct in seizing seven dozen sheep found starving on a Phoenix property.

Justice Gerald Williams of North Valley Justice Court ruled Tuesday that there’s overwhelming evidence of cruelty to animals in the form of mistreatment, neglect and-or abandonment.

The agriculture department removed 84 sheep from a northwest Phoenix property in late October.

That was after three sheep were found dead and necropsies showed they died of starvation.

According to state law, the department will sell the sheep and lambs at a public auction.

The judge also ordered the sheep’s owner to pay the state’s cost of feeding the animals.

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