126 dogs seized from Skagit County property

The Humane Society of Skagit Valley had to close its doors to the public in order to care for all the animals.

BURLINGTON, Wash. – More than 100 dogs have been seized from a property in Skagit County where they lived in deplorable conditions.

There are so many animals in need of help that the Humane Society of Skagit Valley has been forced to close to the public so workers can care for the animals.

“He’s the one that really broke my heart,” Skagit Humane chief executive Janine Ceja said as she cradled a tiny puppy who was struggling to walk.

One of the puppy’s hind legs is severely deformed and will need to be amputated. Workers believe it to be a congenital defect likely due to inbreeding.

“I’m so angry,” Ceja said. “I’m angry because we allow people to do something like this.”

The dogs were recently seized from a property near Sedro-Woolley. Authorities believe it was either a puppy mill or a hoarding situation

Humane Society workers examined the dogs and determined that they were receiving the bare minimum of food and water. Some of them weighed as little as three pounds.

The dogs arrived covered in urine and feces, with matted fur. Some of their fingernails were so long that they had trouble walking.

One of the dogs died after arriving at Skagit Humane.

“My team was already breaking down crying, going through a really tough time because it was too much both to move forward and cash in,” Ceja said.

Volunteers donated time, money and supplies to the organization. On Monday, a volunteer came to shave the dirty, matted coat of the dogs. Some have needed emergency veterinary care, but most seem to be kind and well-behaved despite the conditions they live in.

“I can’t believe anyone can fall asleep at night knowing the dogs are in this condition,” Ceja said. “They can’t profit from anything.”

At this time, Skagit Humane is in need of cash donations, cleaning supplies and jars of turkey or chicken baby food. Baby food is often used to help sick dogs get calories.

The doors of Skagit Humane will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future while workers continue to care for the dogs. But they are reassured to know one thing.

“Dogs are safe now. That’s what we have to think. They’re safe now,” Ceja said as she cuddled another dog, this one believed to be about 12 years old, her tongue falling out of her mouth from his lack of teeth.

It will take some time before all the dogs are ready for adoption, Ceja said. Animals must all be cared for.

Some still need surgeries and they all need to be neutered or neutered.

Prosecutors must also decide whether to prosecute the owner. If they do, the dogs may have to remain in custody until the case is heard.

It could take weeks or months.

“When they’re ready to go, we’ll have an adoption party,” Ceja said. “We will all find good homes for them.”

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