Cruelty to puppies alleged in Stanwood

STANWOOD — Two husky puppies were found dead among five other dogs in a kennel littered with feces, and now the dog’s owner could face animal cruelty charges, police said Thursday.

Police believe the 8- to 9-week-old puppies likely starved to death. Three other puppies survived, but were severely dehydrated and malnourished, weighing only 2 pounds when rescued, Stanwood Police Chief David Bales said.

A healthy husky puppy of that age should weigh about 7 pounds. Two adult dogs also were malnourished.

The owner, a Stanwood woman, 57, said the dogs’ care was her estranged husband’s responsibility. He no longer lives at the home, and earlier this week he called The Herald, urging a story.

Stanwood police and officers with Snohomish County Animal Control launched an investigation in mid-February after receiving a complaint that a litter of puppies was being neglected.

They found the dogs in a fenced-in backyard kennel.

“The floor of the kennel was completely covered in feces and the dogs were very dirty. There were bowls to hold water and food but there was nothing in them,” Bales said.

A small amount of water was in a bucket, but it was too tall for the puppies to reach for a drink, he added.

Officers seized the dogs and took them to the Everett Animal Shelter. The puppies were put in foster care to be nursed back to health and the two adult dogs were put up for adoption, he said. As of late February, the dogs were doing well, Bales said.

The woman could face animal cruelty charges, the chief said.

Bales declined to identify the woman or the location where the dogs were discovered.

“Because these types of cases tend to be very emotional we don’t want to subject this woman to harassment by identifying her,” he added.

A Monroe family recently became the target of death threats and worldwide cyber-harassment after a video surfaced on the Internet that some suggested depicted their relative, a U.S. Marine, tossing a puppy off a cliff.

The internet-fueled reaction included threats to the man’s family, a relative’s employer and the city of Monroe. The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating the videotaped incident.

Stanwood police last week forwarded their puppy-neglect investigation to Snohomish County prosecutors for possible charges.

The Stanwood woman reportedly told police she didn’t have the money to properly care for the dogs and attempted to find someone to take them, Bales said. She also allegedly told police she believed the dogs were her estranged husband’s responsibility, and she’d asked him to take the dogs on several occasions.

Officers investigated her claim but found reasons to doubt her story, Bales said.

Police found dog food at the woman’s house, he said. She also had owned the adult dogs for years and had cared for several previous litters, he said.

Police spoke with the woman’s estranged husband and learned that he hadn’t lived at the house since before the puppies were born and traveled extensively for work, Bales said. Because the man no longer lived at the house, police don’t believe he was responsible for the dogs, the chief said.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Arlington
Arlington woman dies in crash on Highway 530

The Washington State Patrol says a Stanwood man ran a red light, striking Zoey Ensey as she turned onto the highway.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Monkeypox case count rises to 6 in Snohomish County

Meanwhile, cases in the state have roughly doubled every week. Most of those have been in neighboring King County.

Farmer Frog employees sort through a pallet of lettuce at their new location on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Farmer Frog’s new pad, nonprofit helps feed 1.5M Washingtonians

The emergency food distribution network began amid the pandemic. Demand was high — so high, the truck volume led them to move.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish County, cities announce $9.6M for mental health, shelter

Projects span from Edmonds to Sultan. Each city is using American Rescue Plan Act money, with the county contributing, too.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Suspect in custody after man’s gunshot death, standoff

Deputies responded to a domestic violence call and found the suspect barricaded on the property near Snohomish.

Two students walk along a path through campus Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. The college’s youth-reengagement program has lost its funding, and around 150 students are now without the money they need to attend classes. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Monroe nixes college program, leaving 150-plus students in the lurch

For years, the Monroe School District footed the bill for “U3” students, who have gotten mixed messages about why that’s ending.

Desiree Gott looks over documents before her sentencing Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Driver gets over 2 years in death of motorcyclist in Everett

In May, Desiree Gott was turning into the BECU on Evergreen Way when she crashed into Matthew Japhet, 34. She had taken meth.

A frame from video taken by a nearby security camera shows a Bothell police officer (right) shooting a man who allegedly charged him with a knife. (Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team) 20210128
Prosecutor declines charges in fatal Bothell police shooting

An officer shot Juan Rene Hummel, 25, five times in 2020, when Hummel charged at the officer with a knife in his hand.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man dead in shooting near Startup antique store

The man in his 30s was shot before noon Saturday. A man in his early 20s was in custody.

Most Read