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Rescued dogs expected to rapidly multiply

Three puppy mill raids in two Washington counties in recent weeks resulted in about 600 dogs being seized — but those 600 are expected to soon become 1,500.

Four of every five dogs rescued are pregnant, authorities say.

“We’ve already had two litters born,” said Bud Wessman, director of Everett Animal Services, which is caring for 155 dogs seized from a Snohomish County property on Jan. 16. “We have six that will give birth over the weekend and probably another 10 litters coming up in the next week.”

The Snohomish County kennel is linked to another in Skagit County, where authorities seized 135 dogs on Wednesday and returned Friday to seize the remaining 308. The owner of the Skagit County property, near Mount Vernon, is the mother of the woman who owns the Snohomish County property near Gold Bar, the Seattle Times reported.

Animal control officials are struggling to care for the crush of animals, most of which are Chihuahuas, shih tzus, poodles, and Yorkshire terriers.

The first batch of dogs seized from Mountain View Kennel during the Wednesday raid were found sick, matted, standing in their own feces and left without food and water. The second batch of 308 dogs was taken from the property on Friday after authorities determined they might be infected with a potentially deadly intestinal parasite.

Most of the dogs taken from that property are being sheltered at the Skagit County Fairgrounds although some have been placed in foster homes, Reichardt said.

In the related raid in Snohomish County last week, deputies and animal-control officers rescued 155 dogs that were sick, filthy and covered with fleas. Those animals are at the Everett Animal Shelter, she said.

Law-enforcement officers in the two counties say they expect animal-cruelty charges to be filed against the owners.