CONCRETE, Wash. - The Humane Society of Skagit Valley is asking for patience as they had to temporarily close to the public after reaching full capacity with the seizure of over 120 dogs from a home in Concrete.
The dogs were seized from two properties in Skagit County on Sept. 2, where they reportedly were living in deplorable conditions. Many of those dogs required medical care and some needed surgeries.
According to neighbors, the home where the dogs were seized was reported to both the homeowner's association and animal control. However, metal sheeting blocked the home from visibility. That meant no one had set eyes on the large number of dogs until law enforcement showed up to serve an unrelated "no contact order" to the occupant.
"First thing we’d notice was the smell," said Ilona Herbert, who lives nearby. "A lot of people complained about the noise, the amount of dogs they heard barking."
According to Janine Ceja, the executive director of the Humane Society of Skagit Valley, the volunteers on her staff are still processing what they saw the night of Sept. 2 when the animals were first brought in.
"The sergeant that night said, ‘Janine, it looked like a concentration camp for these animals,’" she said. "I was like, ‘Oh my God, what?’"
Ceja said they no longer needed volunteer help after a surge of people came to their aide. They’ve been overwhelmed with locals asking if they can help.
The agency said it has recently seen a huge amount of interest from the public in adopting the dogs, but they said they do not have a timeline for when the dogs will be available.
"They are a part of a criminal investigation and as such, they cannot be adopted until that is resolved and the county gives us the go-ahead. We just don't have a timeline for that. We are also unable to maintain a waitlist. The interest is too great and our hands are very, very full at the moment caring for these little victims. We don't have the available manpower to maintain that list," the Humane Society of Skagit Valley wrote on Facebook.
It’s unclear whether the owner of the dog will be charged. According to an animal control officer, in typical situations when an animal is removed you don’t have to file charges. Animals are removed when there is probable cause for a crime. In this case, animal cruelty charges and unsafe confinement of animals are possible.
If you'd like to help, you can give a cash donation that will go to surgeries, medical care, spaying/neutering, rehabilitation, and other costs. Or you can go to the Humane Society of Skagit Valley's website to see a list of supplies to donate.