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Animal abuse investigated

Rigs hauling horse trailers began arriving at the Enumclaw police station the morning of Dec. 7, along with King County deputies and officials with King County Animal Control.

The station was used as a staging area and, before long, detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, as part of a joint investigation with Animal Control, were serving warrants on two rural properties in the Enumclaw area.

The investigation was related to allegations of animal cruelty.

Detectives and Animal Control investigators served the warrants in the 39500 block of 208th Avenue Southeast and in the 40600 block of 212th Avenue Southeast. The same person owns both properties.

Information had been provided to Animal Control that the woman who owned the properties owned or was boarding numerous malnourished and endangered horses, according to information released by the Sheriff’s Office. In addition there were allegations of dogs and cats living in the same conditions.

Detectives found 40-plus dogs, 19 horses and a few feral cats. Veterinarians assisting detectives found none of the animals could be classified as in eminent danger from malnutrition.

However, numerous dogs were locked up in dark, dirty horse stalls and nearly all of the horses were standing in their own waste.

Detectives believe the owner was taking in unwanted horses and dogs but became overwhelmed and unable to properly care for all of them.

The owner voluntarily surrendered five dogs, but investigators did not think there was sufficient cause to take the other animals.

Sheriff’s detectives will continue their investigation before forwarding the case to the Prosecutor’s Office for consideration regarding criminal charges.

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