Mendocino County law enforcement officials have taken a child and more than 100 animals from a woman with a history of collecting more animals than she can manage.
Patrice Elizabeth Phillips, 59, was arrested Tuesday on her rural property south of Ukiah for resisting a peace officer while officials were serving a search warrant at her home, Mendocino County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Poma said.
Poma said Phillips had refused to open the door for deputies serving the warrant on her McNab Ranch Road home, where she kept cows, chickens, sheep, rabbits, dogs and other animals. According to the Secretary of State's Office, Phillips registered her operation under the name Calf and Carrot Farms LLC.
County animal control officials have been dealing with problems at Phillips' property for about a month, said Poma, who oversees the enforcement arm of the department.
Phillips previously had animal-related troubles in Marin County, where she generated nuisance complaints from neighbors in Fairfax for several years before she moved her animals away in 2009, according to Poma and Bay Area news reports. Mendocino County records show she purchased the McNab Ranch Road property in November 2009.
Mendocino County officials initially responded to complaints that, as in Fairfax, Phillips failed to keep her menagerie on her own property, Poma said.
Two weeks ago, county officials seized 10 Great Pyrenees puppies and Phillips was charged with dozens of criminal counts, primarily nuisance-related, according to the District Attorney's Office.
She's now expected to be charged with multiple animal cruelty and neglect charges for failing to provide adequate water, food and facilities to the animals, Poma said.
County officials said Phillips' animals were kept in unclean conditions, were out of water and they were forced to compete for the food put out for them on three barren, fenced acres, Poma said.
Some were well fed and others underfed, he said. Many were dehydrated.
There also were animal feces inside Phillips' house, Poma said.
Child Protective Services officials also were investigating Phillips, he said. They removed a 13-year-old boy, believed to be Phillips' son, from the home when she was arrested Tuesday, Poma said.
The Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team, Hopland Fire Department, Ukiah Police Department and Veterinarian Richard Brazil assisted the Sheriff's Office and Animal Control in caring for and removing the animals, he said. Other than one dog and several chickens that eluded capture, the animals have been taken to area homes and shelters.
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.