Rescued dogs will be sent to local shelters to be adopted

LYNNWOOD — Fluffy white American Eskimo dogs rescued from an apparent Kennewick puppy mill are headed to Snohomish County to find new homes.

As many as three local shelters are planning to work with the Humane Society of the United States to care for some of the 371 dogs rescued Wednesday.

Some of the dogs will be put up for adoption, possibly by the end of next week.

Benton County sheriff’s officials found the dogs living in wooden crates, shopping carts and other makeshift kennels kept in filthy conditions.

“We call it a puppy mill because they’re cranking out puppies for sale,” said Mary Leake Schilder, a spokeswoman for PAWS, the Lynnwood animal shelter that’s expecting to take about 35 of the dogs.

Stanwood’s NOAH and the Everett Animal Shelter also may get some of the rescued animals.

The Kennewick dogs’ owner agreed to give up the animals, allowing officials to nearly immediately put them up for adoption. The 66-year-old woman has been charged with second-degree animal cruelty.

This is the second time in the state hundreds of dogs have been rescued from suspected puppy mills this year.

In January, when Snohomish and Skagit county officials rescued nearly 600 dogs from a Gold Bar-area home and a Mount Vernon-area kennel, officials had to care for the dogs for weeks allowing for a legal process to play out.

Most of the Kennewick dogs are a breed called American Eskimo, also known as Spitzes. The breed isn’t for every family, Schilder said. They sometimes don’t behave well with small children.

Rescued dogs often need patience and extra love to help them get used to life outside the conditions in which they were raised. Many of the dogs likely will face a lifetime of extra veterinary needs.

“It doesn’t mean they can’t be rehabilitated,” Schilder said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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