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Dog roundup from rural residence reaches 34

SATURDAY, OCT. 4, 2008

Animal control officers from SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. have seized 34 dogs so far from a Stevens County home. Neighbors complained that a woman kept the dogs without proper confinement.

“It sounds like some farm animals were injured by the dogs, from what we are hearing,” said Hope Merkison, animal control officer with SpokAnimal. “We picked up seven on Thursday, and 27 Friday morning.”

Merkison is unsure how many dogs still are running loose on the property, but guesses the total could reach 45.

“Most of them look fairly healthy. We are not seeing any real medical problems at this time,” Merkinson said. “But the dogs are very unsocialized; these are not very nice dogs.”

The dogs were seized from a residence on Wallbridge Road, on the Stevens County side of Deer Park, said Det. Jim Glover of the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

“We started serving the search warrant yesterday evening and we are seizing the dogs under a warrant for confining dogs in an unsafe manner,” Glover said.

Glover said he couldn’t comment whether deputies took the property owner into custody. However, all the reports are being forwarded to the prosecutor for review, he said.

“We are still in the middle of everything,” he said.

The dogs will spend a 15-day holding period at SpokAnimal while Stevens County authorities decide what will happen to them and their owner.

“Right now we are making room for these guys – it’s just hard,” Merkinson said.

SpokAnimal has handled several big hoarding cases this year and is stretched to its limit.

“Our big thing right now is to keep owner-surrendered dogs out of here,” Merkinson said. “Please keep as many dogs out of the shelter as possible, keep their tags on and keep them home.”

In addition to needing a lot of dog food over the next two weeks, there are other practical concerns: “We are in desperate need of stainless steel bowls for all of them,” Merkinson said.

Reporter Thomas Clouse contributed to this report.


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