Dozens of dogs in need of a forever home following a recent animal hoarding discovery
YAKIMA, Wash.- A shocking animal hoarding situation that recently happened in Union Gap, involving 39 dogs and two chickens, continues to be investigated.
Union Gap Police say they called in Yakima’s Animal Control Officers when they discovered the animals all inside a small trailer while in the area searching for a stolen vehicle late Friday night.
Staff at the Yakima Humane Society say one of the puppies that was only about a month old died shortly after being taken in due to poor health.
However, they say the other dogs are now being worked with, getting their immunizations, getting baths, and just beginning to get socialized.
Now with wagging tails and playful barks, it's hard to believe that just five days earlier the pups were living in a much different environment.
Photos show the inside of a trailer in Union Gap just off Ahtanum Road, the animals living in contaminated and tight quarters with their owner.
"They did have food. There was just feces everywhere. You could tell these animals were not being let out to go to the bathroom. Their entire lives were in this RV," said Annie Flores, the communications and event manager for Yakima Humane Society.
The dogs have now received their vaccinations and seem to be in good physical condition.
"They look like they're in okay condition, beside you know being really dirty and really smelly. They all look to be in okay condition. Nothing that we could tell that they were being abused in any other way," said Flores.
With no signs of abuse, Sergeant Mike Russell with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office says the charges against the owner will likely be minor.
"Depending on the animal violation that you're facing in Yakima County you can face a civil infraction that can cost you a couple of hundred dollars. The worst-case scenario is you can face a misdemeanor charge that can actually land you a few days in jail along with the penalty that comes along with that," said Sergeant Russell.
Often times, Sergeant Russell says those involved in animal hoarding situation have good intentions.
"The person keeping the animals will typically have some type of mental health issue going on, that's not necessarily always the case, but they may be people who are legitimately concerned about animals and in their mind, believe that they are helping animals," said Sergeant Russell.
Now the animals are truly getting they help they need as they prepare for their future homes.
"They deal with post trauma at their own pace. Some of them are already happy go lucky as if nothing ever happened, and other are like you know, ‘I’m not sure if I trust you yet,’" said Flores.
But time heals all wounds, and the staff at the Humane Society is hopeful the pups will soon get a second chance at a happy life.
As for the two chickens, staff at the Humane Society says they were taken in by a staff member at the shelter and are now enjoying farm life.
As far as the owner of these animals, we're still not sure what charges will be filed against them but we'll of course keep you updated and if you have room to make one of the pups a member of your family, most of them will be available for adoption beginning Thursday afternoon.