Police seize 62 dogs from home in ‘animal hoarding’ case

October 11, 2011

By Staff

King County animal control officers seized 62 dogs from a Cougar Mountain home in Issaquah — and 38 more from a Burien home — Oct. 6 in a case investigators described as “animal hoarding.”

Kristina Tsai bathes a dog Oct. 7 at a King County animal shelter after it was seized during an "animal hoarding" investigation Oct. 6. By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

In a raid on the Burien house, King County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Regional Animal Services of King County officers discovered 38 ill Chihuahua, Japanese Chin and Pomeranian dogs in dirty crates. Then, investigators searched a house in the 5900 block of 189th Avenue Southeast on Cougar Mountain, about a mile south of Cougar Mountain Zoo.

Veterinarians later euthanized nine dogs from the Burien house due to poor health. The day after the raids, veterinarians euthanized another dog due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Investigators said the animals from the Issaquah house appeared to be in good health and housed in clean crates, although the condition of the house prompted animal control officers to take the dogs into custody.

“This is a very sad situation,” Glynis Frederiksen, Regional Animal Services of King County interim manager, said in a statement. “Most of the dogs had fur matted with dirt and other debris, some had eye problems and several were in need of dental care. Our officers and volunteers have done an excellent job in taking care of these dogs under extraordinary circumstances.”

How to help

King County’s animal control agency needs help to care for dogs seized from Issaquah and Burien homes last week.

Regional Animal Services of King County is seeking donations of money and plastic pet carriers, leashes, small dog collars, food and water bowls, towels and washcloths, and pet beds. Donations can be dropped off at the King County Pet Adoption Center, 21615 64th Ave. S., Kent.

During the investigation, the agency also needs experienced foster homes to care for the dogs on a temporary basis. Call 206-205-3403 to volunteer. The animals cannot be up for adoption until the investigation is complete.

Police said a man at the Burien residence said most of the dogs belonged to him. In addition, he told investigators about additional dogs at the Issaquah house.

The investigation is ongoing. The sheriff’s office has not yet arrested anyone in the case, although misdemeanor or felony charges could ensue.

“Our first concern is the health and well-being of the dogs, so all of them are being checked out and treated at local veterinary offices,” said Debra George, Burien’s Community Animal Resources Education Society director. “We want to thank everyone who helped out in this trying situation.”

The investigation into the Burien residence started after the sheriff’s office received a tip from Pasado’s Safe Haven, a nonprofit animal rescue organization in Seattle.

The day after the raids, volunteers and Regional Animal Services of King County personnel spent the day bathing and grooming the dogs.

“We’ve already received calls from animal lovers interested in adopting these dogs,” Frederiksen said. “Once the investigation is complete, we will likely put them up for adoption, so we just ask people to be patient while we care for them and nurse them back to health until then.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcastle@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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