Dr. Raquel Marie Mercado-Sepulveda is facing animal cruelty charges after the Pima County Animal Care Center (PACC), Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) worked together.

Public Information Officer Keith A. Bee says it all started when the department first got a tip in 2022. Someone told deputies Dr. Mercado-Sepulveda was “performing unlicensed and illegal surgeries on dogs.”

This led to them serving a search warrant at her residence and medical office. They then found 36 dogs and two cats, plus other evidence.

According to the University of Arizona’s website, she is apparently affiliated as a Faculty Physician with the College of Medicine Tucson Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Deputies seized 14 more dogs and three rabbits at Dr. Mercado-Sepulveda’s residence, along with extra evidence, on Wednesday and Thursday.