Is the Olympic Animal Sanctuary really a safe place for dogs that could not be accepted at other shelters? Some are saying that it is less like a sanctuary and more like a toucher chamber. On September 23, 2013 Komo News aired a story about the Olympic Animal Sanctuary and what volunteers and supporters of the sanctuary have seen and are highly concerned about. The stories coming from volunteers and others that have been to the facility are disturbing and many people want answers.
The Olympic Animal Sanctuary states that they take care of dogs that were turned away by other shelters because the dogs were called dangerous. These are the dogs that have caused severe injures to people or killed other animals. You will also find feral dogs, wolf hybrids, and coyote hybrids. These are the dogs that can not be taken in by other facilities or organizations and will likely be put down. According to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, they take in these dogs and care for them but there are some disturbing stories coming from the sanctuary that have supporters wondering what is really going on.
You can find the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in an old warehouse in Forks. As you get near the warehouse you will hear the dogs barking and making a lot of racket and as you get closer you will also smell them. According to the Forks City Attorney there are 120 to 140 dogs at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary. The man who runs the sanctuary is Steve Markwell and he has been very reluctant to let anyone inside the warehouse. However, last year some volunteers snapped photos of skinny dogs, plastic travel crates used at housing, small cages and generally unsanitary, filthy conditions.
When you view those photos and hear the accounts of people that have been to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary you get a very grim picture of what is going on there but there is another side to this story.
On the Olympic Animal Sanctuary’s website you can see clearly a message that is assumed to be from the man running the sanctuary, Steve Markwell. In that statement you can see that this is no the first time that he the Olympic Animal Sanctuary has been accused of doing harm to the dogs and you can also see that he describes the current situation the sanctuary as being “less than ideal” due to hard times and lack of support. For some this is a clear indication that Steve Markwell and other supporters of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary know that there is a big problem and at the bottom of the statement you can also see that they have a plan to make it better. Their plan includes a new, large piece of land that they will be relocating to.
The big question here is really, are Steve Markwell and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary actually doing something wrong or are they working towards something good? Before we look at photo’s and hear statements from those already set against the facility, maybe we need to get a bit more information about what is really going on.