Willamette Valley Animal Rescue turned out to be anything but as 140 dogs were seized from the warehouse facility on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 in Marion County, Oregon. The organization’s president, 24-year-old Alicia Marie Inglish, has been charged with over 100 counts of animal neglect as well as tampering with evidence in the investigation, according to a Marion County Sherrif’s Office press release.
Authorities had received complaints about the care of the animals, most of whom were housed in crates in a 7500 square foot warehouse, and attempts to work with the organization were ignored. Officials at the Oregon Humane Society reported that they had also attempted to work with Willamette Valley Animal Rescue on previous occasions and were denied access to the warehouse to inspect the animals.
Located on Pueblo Ave. in Brooks, the organization was listed as an animal rescue facility on Petfinder, but no information is available as to whether it was recognized as a legitimate rescue by state or county officials.
During the seizure, dogs were found to be emaciated and in various stages of neglect, with no food or water available. Some were stuffed 3 and 4 to a crate designed to contain one animal. No employees or volunteers responsible for caring for the dogs were on the premises.
Dr. Kriss Otteman, Oregon Humane Society Veterinarian, worked with other authorities and volunteers through the night to assess the dogs and determine the care each will require.
The condition of these animals is terrible. They are lacking the basic care needed to survive. I found no food available to them and the water in their cages was filled with stench. I saw one animal stuffed into a cage that was so small he was unable to lie down, sit or stand up. He had no food or water in the cage, and I'm not sure how long he'd been left in that condition. I saw another cage that contained four dogs; it was designed for one. These dogs need immediate medical care.
Anyone who has a dog that they cannot care for should check the validity of any agency claiming to be a rescue before releasing the animal to their care. While it's not known what circumstances led to the neglect at Willamette Valley Animal Rescue, many animal lovers start out with good intentions but cannot follow through because of time and expense involved, and quickly become overwhelmed.
All dogs have been removed from the warehouse and placed in various agencies throughout the state, which put some of them well over normal capacity. Because they will need veterinary care, it’s not known when the dogs seized on Sunday might be available for placement, but adopting a currently adoptable dog from an Oregon shelter will help ease some of the burden. Contact the Oregon Humane Society for more information.
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