TUMTUM, Wash. - An extreme case of animal neglect was discovered over the weekend in Stevens County, leading to the recovery of nearly 50 dogs from a remote property near Tumtum.
The Spokane Humane Society and the Colville Animal Sanctuary got a tip from adult protective services about animals at the property.
"We got permission from the owners to go out on the property and start addressing the needs of the animals," Dave Richardson with the Spokane Humane Society said.
Dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds were found inside the home and the surrounding property. Some of them were deceased.
"Right now we have 34 at the Spokane Humane Society, I believe that there are two additional pregnant dogs that are up at Colville Animal Sanctuary, and there's another six puppies between 5-6 days old that are in our foster care program so somewhere between 40 and 50 animals," Richardson said.
Neighbor Bill Sheppard said the owners are two elderly sisters who lived in a small house with all 25 of the small breed dogs.
"Very tough old gals, I mean they've lived out here with no power, no heat, not even a light bulb," Sheppard said.
But despite the conditions the animals lived in they are all relatively healthy.
"Their overall health was not as bad. The fur was very matted, covered with urine and feces. Those that needed it were shaved, but most of them were in pretty good weight," Richardson said.
Most of the animals all needed extensive dental work, however, and some had all of their teeth removed.
Sheppard hopes this incident is an eye opener for Stevens County and will prevent more cases like this from happening in the future.
"It happens all around here, this is not the only place," he said.