Target: Rick Bart, Forks County Police Administrator
Goal: File felony animal cruelty charges against operators of a Washington animal sanctuary
In 2012 police raided the Olympic Animal Sanctuary (OAS) in Forks, Washington and found more than a hundred dogs stacked in crates and emaciated. It was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty and neglect in the state’s history and yet no animal cruelty charges have been filed against the sanctuary’s operator. Such egregious treatment of animals cannot go unpunished and something must be done immediately.
The conditions at Olympic Animal Sanctuary were so deplorable it was nicknamed the “sanctuary of sorrow.” One hundred and twenty-four dogs were found stacked on top each other in small travel crates in a cold, dark, and dilapidated warehouse. According to the 2012 report filed by Folks County Police, the dogs in the sanctuary were housed within travel crates without regular access to water and were only fed raw animal parts once or twice per week.
Forks Police visited the warehouse in December of 2013 for an inspection. Despite witness complaints of a putrid odor coming from the building, no animal cruelty allegations were brought forth. A few days following the inspection, Steve Markwell, owner of OAS transported all of his dogs in a tractor-trailer to Golden, Arizona, where they were taken in by an organization called Guardians of Rescue.
Markwell continues to deny that he had any responsibility in what happened to his dogs and blames animal rights activists. “Beginning a year ago,” he said, ”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.” As owner of the sanctuary, however, and with only one location, it is unlikely that within the year the volunteer was working, Markwell didn’t visit the premises, alert authorities, or do whatever he could to make sure the animals were given proper care.
The statute of limitations for felony animal cruelty charges in Washington is 3 years so there is still time for Markwell to be held accountable for the incredibly cruel treatment of the dogs at OAS. Sign the petition and demand that animal cruelty charges be filed against him now.
More than one year ago Forks Police found 124 emaciated dogs in a dark and cold warehouse at Olympic Animal Sanctuary. The conditions were so bad the location was nicknamed the “sanctuary of sorrow.” Despite the severity of the animal cruelty perpetrated by owner Steve Markwell, no animal cruelty charges have been filed against him.
This is absolutely unacceptable. Not only is this degree of animal cruelty a felony, any person capable of causing so much harm toward another living thing should not be free to walk the streets. Please file animal cruelty charges against Steve Markwell immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Charlie Chapman 75 via Flickr