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In brief: SCRAPS offers deal to help ease crowding

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service shelter is “bursting at its seams” with animals waiting to find homes.

“Right now we are seeing a ‘perfect storm,’ a combination of the after-effect from the economic downturn, puppy and kitten season, and not enough willing adopters,” SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill said in a news release.

To relieve the overcrowding at the shelter, SCRAPS is offering $25 off every adult pet adoption every Friday in June.

“SCRAPS has every imaginable breed of pets right now, purebred and mixes and dogs and cats of all ages,” said Jackie Bell, SCRAPS development coordinator. SCRAPS is located at 2521 N. Flora Road in Spokane Valley. For hours and information, call (509) 477-2532 or visit www.

Sex offender may face rape of child charge

A registered sex offender is accused of raping a young girl after offering to baby-sit so her parents could spend time together.

Robert Leonard Hutsell, 44, knew the girl’s father from high school but lost contact until late last year, court documents say.

The father told Spokane police he didn’t know of Hutsell’s background until detectives began investigating allegations that Hutsell molested the girl.

Hutsell took the girl and her siblings to his home at 543 E. Crown Ave., for an overnight stay in February. The girl later told her mother of inappropriate contact. Hutsell appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday on a $250,000 warrant for first-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation. He was convicted of first-degree rape of a child in 1999.

Equine virus threat in Washington eased

Concern about the spread of a potentially deadly form of the equine herpes virus has eased in Washington state.

The Washington state veterinarian said last week that eight horses in the state tested positive for the disease. None of them died, although one was put down for an unrelated health condition, according to a news release from the Washington state Department of Agriculture.

Four of the exposed horses had attended a show in Ogden, Utah, where they were exposed to the virus that then spread across the West.The state veterinarian, Dr. Leonard Eldridge, said horses with the virus or exposed to the virus should remain in isolation for 28 days after symptoms subside. The quarantine period can be shortened by a week if lab tests confirm that the horse is no longer contagious.

“The prompt actions of horse owners across the state limited the transmission of disease,” Eldridge said.The disease must be reported to the state veterinary office at (360) 902-1878.