BELFAIR, Wash. — Sheriff’s deputies rescued a couple in their late 60s — as well as more than 40 dogs and various other animals — from a home filled with feces and dead animals.
Mason County sheriff’s deputies checked on the couple living in a home in the 100 block of E. Blackhawk Court in Belfair after receiving a report from expected visitors saying the couple did not answer their door Sunday night.
Deputies entered the residence and found the couple both in need of immediate medical attention, the sheriff’s office said. The couple was living among 30 to 40 Pekingese dogs, some birds, a couple of cats and some snakes. The home was covered in feces, and a few dead dogs were also spotted in the house, deputies said.
“I don’t know if it is a criminal situation or a situation where an elderly couple became ill-health and over the last couple of years it just got away for them,” said detective William Adam.
Deputies and animal care workers were forced to put on HazMat suits to enter the residence, deputies said, because it was “layered in filth and animal feces.”
Some of the animals, including 10 dogs and six birds, were transported to Thurston County Animal Services in Olympia. Employees said most of those dogs appear to be OK, but one of them was nearly deaf and almost blind.
“It breaks your heart because this could’ve been completely avoided,” said Ananda Boylan with Animal Services. “It doesn’t have to happen. If you have too many pets that you can’t care for them properly, then you don’t need all the pets.”
Some of the animals were being cared for by other agencies and rescue groups, according to the sheriff’s office.
At the home, deputies cleaned up an outdoor kennel for the remaining dogs. They provided food and water. Deputies will continue to check on the animals.
The couple was taken to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton. The sheriff’s office expects them to be released.
It is not known if the couple will face any criminal charges.