The owner of Iron Horse Kennel in Newman Lake is facing closure after receiving notification from the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service that her kennel license will not be renewed.
Kennel owner Wilma Turner said she plans to appeal the decision. “It’s my life’s work,” she said. “It’s what I’ve been doing for over 40 years.”
Turner pleaded guilty in 2011 to several criminal charges after an inspection revealed substandard conditions at her kennels. As part of her plea agreement she agreed to have no further violations, but a judge recently ruled that she violated her probation after SCRAPS inspections revealed additional problems. Turner was also charged with animal cruelty in November after a complaint was filed regarding a sick puppy purchased from her kennel.
Turner’s license expired in October and she has not passed an annual inspection needed for renewal, said SCRAPS director Nancy Hill. “If she doesn’t file the appeal, then her kennel will be deemed an illegal kennel after Jan. 30,” Hill said.
Hill said she’s not sure what would happen next if Turner doesn’t file an appeal or if she loses her appeal. Turner would only be allowed to have four dogs instead of the 50 adult dogs kennels are allowed to have.
“That’s something we would have to decide,” Hill said. “Having an unlicensed commercial kennel is a misdemeanor. It’s a difficult situation.”
Turner said she has been struggling with several health issues lately, including a diagnosis of breast cancer during the summer. “I’ve done the best I can do under the conditions,” she said.