Dozens of sick cats, dogs rescued during Pasco PD welfare check at local animal shelter
PASCO, Wash. — Dozens of sick dogs and cats are now safe after Pasco police conducted a search warrant Thursday morning at the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter (TCAS).
Officials said they received a complaint of possible mistreatment for animals being held at the shelter. When they went to investigate around 9 a.m., they found at least four malnourished dogs and about 30 cats with serious infections out of over 200 animals.
No one was arrested during the check but TCAS director Rebecca Howard and the Neo’s Nation Animal Foundation manager Julie Chambers had their operating contracts terminated immediately, said Pasco Police Sgt. Rigo Pruneda.
Sgt. Pruneda noted that this investigation will take months to complete.
“We had a veterinarian come with us to be able to identify and take a look at those animals and they were able to conclude that some were not getting taken care of like they should have,” Sgt. Pruneda said. “In a complex investigation like this, we have to be certain that we know who is responsible for the mistreatment of these animals before any charges are filed.”
If and/or when charges are filed, whoever is responsible could be facing animal neglect and cruelty felony charges.
“We want people to be able to know that our community has a safe place for animals that are in need and that they’re getting taken care of properly,” Sgt. Pruneda said, noting that this is the first complaint the shelter has received.
Tri-Cities resident and kitten foster Alisha Dickenson said the news was shocking.
She first began fostering three kittens in September before getting another three kittens in the middle of October.
“When I went, it just seemed like there were cages everywhere,” Dickenson said. “I wouldn’t say it smelled terrible. It smelled like there were a lot of animals.”
Dickenson said she’d worked with vet clinics before and didn’t notice any red flags when she went to pick up the kittens from the shelter, but she did admit she was only at the facility briefly.
Now, she’s looking for answers.
“I’m just left wondering how this all affects the kittens that I’m fostering,” Dickenson said. “No one’s reached out to me from the shelter.”
The affected dogs and cats are currently being taken in and cared for by multiple organizations including the Benton-Franklin Humane Society, Silver Cloud Sanctuary in Walla Walla, and Tumbleweed Cat Rescue.
If you want to help:
Benton County WA Canine Shelter is asking for this list of items from Amazon.
Silver Cloud Sanctuary is asking for this list of items from Amazon.
Fosters are also needed.
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