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Horse shelter founder denies crimes in past


Stevens County woman did prison term for fraud

After a story in Wednesday’s Spokesman-Review detailing how thieves stole saddles and whipped a young horse at a Stevens County animal rescue organization, several callers raised concerns about the organization’s founder.

Carrie L. Aenk’s background includes a federal conviction for bank fraud. She pleaded guilty and served a prison term and probation.

Contacted on Friday, Aenk said she was innocent – set up by a family member who later confessed to the crimes.

Her appeals to overturn the conviction failed, and the record reflects that a federal judge found she intended to cause a bank to lose $435,000 by first submitting an empty deposit envelope and then attempting a withdrawal.

Aenk said Friday she fears publicity linking her legal problems to Shepherd’s Way Animal Rescue near Springdale, Wash., would undo what she said were the good works of providing refuge to abused animals and providing riding lessons for children, veterans and others.

Stevens County Sheriff’s Office records show Aenk has made dozens of calls over the years to law enforcement to report crimes and harassment.

The latest was the theft report that earned coverage from newspapers and television.

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