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Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs, founder Markwell arrive at destination

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On Tuesday, Dec. 24, animal organization Guardians of Rescue announced on Facebook that Steve Markwell and the dogs from Olympic Animal Sanctuary had arrived safely at their destination.

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Markwell had taken 124 dogs from a 4,000 square foot warehouse in Forks, Wash., last weekend, transporting them in a semi truck to an undisclosed location.

According to the organization:


The team on the ground has gone to work.

Today they spent the entire day building 10x10 kennels. Current temperature is 65 degrees. We will be providing more details and an official statement as soon as possible.

The Guardians [cannot] answer any questions on this thread at this time.

All organizations that are interested in taking one or more dogs that have not contacted us yet can email us at

The precise location of the dogs remains unknown.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, Markwell announced that the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, which had been embroiled in controversy for months, was set to close soon. Markwell announced that he hoped to move the animals to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

The Olympic Animal Sanctuary was originally founded to provide refuge to dogs who would otherwise be euthanized. The non-profit dog facility, located in a warehouse in Forks, Wash., housed dozens of dogs, including those deemed to be "dangerous".

According to a 2012 Forks police report, many of the dogs were housed within travel crates without continuous access to water. The report also stated that the animals were only fed raw animal parts once or twice weekly.

In his Dec. 14 statement, Markwell remarked: "Beginning a year ago, a disgruntled ex-volunteer whom I fired partnered with extreme 'animal rights' groups that oppose all no kill sanctuaries to put OAS out of operation, get our dogs killed, and blame me for it."

Given the large number of dogs, Guardians of Rescue was apparently chosen as an alternative animal rescue to Best Friends.

Guardians of Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit operating in New York. Their members work tirelessly to protect the well-being of all animals and come to the aid of those in distress. Learn more about them here.

Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.

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