Stevens County dog owners arrested for animal cruelty

Stevens County dog owners arrested for animal cruelty

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. – The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two people for animal cruelty in connection with a suspected puppy mill uncovered last week.

Theresa and Thomas Hostetler were booked on one count of felony animal cruelty and two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen says the charges stem from a search warrant executed on their Peggy Road property Monday night.

The search warrant arose from an investigation last week, in which 33 dogs, 6 puppies, and 3 cats were seized from what was described as “deplorable conditions.” The non-profit animal rescue group Rescue4All said they found dogs chained to trees, dogs covered in feces and animals that were injured as well.

Initially, sheriff’s deputies said the owners complied and helped load up the animals being seized. But, Rescue4All suspected there were other animals at risk.

Monday night, deputies served a search warrant and found skeletal remains and hides of other animals. Sheriff Allen said the Hostetlers tried to obstruct deputies who were trying to investigate.

Sheriff Allen said deputies have been to the Hostetlers property before, but could not say specifically for what reason.