A woman wanted in Oregon on 83 misdemeanor counts of animal neglect and abuse has been arrested in Kelso.
Ingerid Pearson, 65, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. She was being held in Cowlitz County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Pearson, who faces charges of animal neglect and abuse in Milwaukie, Ore., awaits extradition hearings. In May, authorities there seized 73 sick and emaciated Rottweiler dogs, who have since been given to adoptive families.
She isn’t likely to be charged in Wahkiakum County, although her 56-Rottweiler Skamokawa kennel complex was seized by the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Department last month.
“Basically, she hasn’t done anything criminal (in Wahkiakum County),” said Deputy Dan Bardsley.
A recent caretaker, Robert P. Speckman, is at large and will face animal cruelty charges, said Wahkiakum County Prosecutor Fred Johnson. Pearson has said she sent Speckman funds for dog care, and deputies believe there “is some substance” to her statements, the prosecutor said.
The dogs have lived in the open-air kennels about a year.
Pearson left the area in August, as Oregon criminal charges hung over her. She said she visited white separatist Randy Weaver in Idaho and militia members in Montana. She said Friday she returned to southwest Washington to resume dog care.
Pearson was spotted at a Longview restaurant early Tuesday morning by someone who recognized her from a photo in Saturday’s local newspaper, The Daily News.
Kelso police arrested her but let her go after trying unsuccessfully to confirm the Oregon warrant. Later, word arrived that the warrant was valid, and police stopped Pearson’s olive-green 1970 Toyota.
If Pearson wants Skamokawa dogs back, she must show a judge she would care for them. Otherwise, the county may give away or destroy the animals starting Nov. 18.
Since the Skamokawa seizure, two jail inmates, members of Northwest Rottweiler Fanciers and other volunteers, have taken care of the animals.
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