Updated:CENTRALIA, Wash. —
Authorities seized 38 dogs and puppies from a man’s Centralia property after an investigation revealed the animals were living and being bred in filthy conditions.
Deputies with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office assisted the county Public Health Department in seizing the animals at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Deputies, code enforcement officers, county humane officers and the state veterinarian went to the 1600 block of Little Hanaford Road to continue an investigation that began after a tip was received that 49-year-old Jimmie R. Jemison was breeding and keeping dogs in dirty and unsafe conditions.
Authorities believed Jemison was breeding puppies to sell.
Police said Jemison was contacted by deputies and a humane officer several times, but refused to cooperate.
After obtaining a search warrant, 21 adult dogs and 17 puppies -- Boxer, Daschund, Chihuahua, Basset hound, and mixed breed -- were seized and taken to the Lewis County Animal Shelter where they are being treated for dehydration and other illnesses.
The Sheriff’s Office said the 38 dogs were being kept in a 28-by-30-foot RV where kennels were stacked upon kennels and animals were sleeping and eating in their own waste.
About a dozen domesticated rats were found in a cage in an outbuilding. There was also a kennel containing dead baby possums mixed with the live dogs. It is not known if the dogs killed the baby possums or they died of other causes.
Chickens, quail and a goat were also on the property. Garbage cans and buckets full of feces were stored outside the RV, and protective equipment had to be worn by all authorities at the scene.
Jemison was not booked into the Lewis County Jail. He was initially arrested and transported to Centralia Providence Hospital but had to be transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle because of a severe medical condition.
Jemison may be charged with second-degree animal cruelty.