Stanwood animal welfare group seeking $40,000 in court after it cared for puppy mill’s dogs

Northwest Organization for Animal Help in Stanwood plans to be quite visible at Skagit County Superior Court.

Staff and volunteers plan to attend a restitution hearing regarding a puppy mill June 8 in Mount Vernon. NOAH, located at 31300 Brandstrom Road in Stanwood, took in 74 of more than 400 dogs seized in 2009 at an unlicensed Mount Vernon kennel.

“The cost to our shelter was enormous,” says Kelly Hill, interim executive director of the NOAH Center. “Our staff, volunteers and supporters really stepped up to the plate so we could respond quickly to care for these precious lives.”

The dogs were found in cramped cages contaminated with feces and urine and sat next to bodies of dead dogs inside a freezing cold pole barn with no heat or windows. Many didn’t have food or water. Veterinarians determined that dogs were suffering from numerous health issues, including rotting teeth and intestinal disease and other life-threatening conditions. Several others were pregnant. NOAH is seeking restitution in excess of $40,000.

Any restitution will mark the final phase of the puppy mill case for the shelter, Hill says. Earlier this year, Marjorie and Richard Sundberg were found guilty and sentenced to perform community service in the animal cruelty case. They are also prohibited from owning or living with any animals.

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Island County is on top of disaster preparedness.

We wrote May 4, “No time like present to prepare for disaster,” about a fire station on Camano Island that is ready with meals, water and bedding for emergencies such as the loss of electricity on the island.

Across the bay, Island County looked at emergency procedures regarding communications during a “Shake Rattle and Roll 2011” earthquake drill to simulate a 7.5-magnitude temblor on the South Whidbey Fault.

The Island County Health Department held an exercise the morning of the drill, with the help of Region 1 Public health staff, to set up a phone bank in the staff room of the director of emergency management in Coupeville.

They wanted to learn if the phone bank was operational, if people knew how it worked and to learn whether staff faced gaps in providing rapid response to multiple inquiries over a short time span.

Dr. Roger Case, Island County health officer, said the test was a success.

“During the two-hour period of the exercise, we also learned how to work with the ham radio staff in ascertaining the status of various parts of the county,” Case says.

Overall, he said, it was a useful learning experience for the public health workers.

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How often are you asked to show your artwork?

Here is a chance.

Susan King says the Mountain Loop Experience Art Festival offers a call for artists for a June 25 and 26 art festival and studio tour near Granite Falls.

There will be a variety of events in town during the Experience, King says.

She says they are welcoming two-dimensional paintings, photographs and collages and three-dimensional work such as baskets and sculptures.

For an application, email sallie

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Walkers and walk teams are needed for Village Community Services’ fourth annual Friendship Walk.

It’s planned for 1 p.m. June 25, starting at Legion Park Gazebo, 114 N. Olympic Ave. in Arlington.

Stroll about a mile through town. There will be prizes, music and snacks for everyone.

Resource Development Manager Michelle Dietz says those who donate or raise $25 or more in sponsorships will be thanked with a commemorative T-shirt.

Register at or call Dietz at 360-653-7752, ext. 14. Walkers may also register at the Friendship Walk starting at 11 a.m.

Proceeds benefit Village Community Services’ Voices of the Village performance ensemble, Friday Music and Evening with the Arts programs for people with significant disabilities who live in Skagit, Island and Snohomish Counties.

A group called Voices of the Village will perform rock and roll songs from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s at the Friendship Walk. Voices of the Village is an ensemble for people of all ages and abilities.

Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451;

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