Woman can’t have dogs back, judge says

MOUNT VERNON — When Renee Roske showed up in court here on Monday, she already had obtained Snohomish County pet licenses for the six dogs she hoped a judge would return.

The Snohomish woman went home without her dogs.

Skagit County District Court Judge David Svaren dismissed Roske’s petition to reunite her with the small dogs — four toy poodles, a Yorkie and a Chihuahua — she called her pets. The dogs were among about 450 animals seized in January during a police raid on Roske’s parents’ home near Mount Vernon.

Hundreds of malnourished, sick and flea-infested animals were rescued from the Skagit County property as part of a puppy mill investigation.

Roske filed a petition Sept. 10 in an effort to get her pets back. Svaren ruled Roske’s petition was untimely, according to court documents.

Moreover, the judge noted, a Superior Court judge on May 15 ruled that the dogs could be “adopted or disposed of” by Saving Pets One at a Time or SPOT, a Burlington pet rescue group, Svaren ruled.

The fight over the dogs likely isn’t over, said Marianne Jones, an attorney representing Roske.

Jones said she and her client are working on a strategy, including challenging the May 15 ruling.

Roske on Monday paid $130 to apply in Snohomish County for a nonbreeding kennel license that would permit her to own up to 10 dogs at her home near Snohomish. The money also paid for the six pet licenses and other fees.

It’s not clear whether the license will be approved.

A Snohomish County hearing examiner in March yanked Roske’s kennel license. County records document Roske’s 13-year history of code violations.

Roske’s home was last inspected in January when officials served a search warrant as part of a puppy mill investigation. Officers found about 40 dogs, well over the 25 allowed under the license she held at the time.

None of the dogs was seized, but Roske later lost her license and, under the law, now is permitted to own no more than three dogs.

Roske hasn’t been charged in the puppy mill case, but others have, including her parents and a Gold Bar couple who said they worked for Roske.

The kennel license application now must be reviewed, a process that is open to public comment as well as input from other officials, standard procedure for all applications, said Vicki Lubrin, Snohomish County animal control manager.

County officials likely will consider the number of customer complaints about Wags ‘n’ Wiggles, Roske’s business, and Roske’s long history of violations before making a decision, Lubrin said.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, jholtz@heraldnet.com.

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