PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — In an ongoing animal cruelty investigation, officials seized 36 dogs Wednesday in Pierce County, said Sheriff’s spokesman Detective Ed Troyer.
A search warrant was served at a home in the 9000 block of Portland Avenue in Midland, where animal control officers and deputies seized the dogs, including 15 puppies under 12 weeks old.
There were reports of animal cruelty and an illegal kennel operation at the property.
Investigators said they received a tip earlier this week that numerous dogs were being kept on the property, and the dogs were allegedly being shot with a pellet gun.
The tip investigators received also included drone footage of the property, dogs and the alleged abuse, deputies said.
Investigators said it appears that many of the dogs were being used for breeding and selling.
After the dogs were seized, they were given a cursory examination by a veterinarian Wednesday afternoon. They are expected received blood work and X-rays over the next several days to address concerns of bloody stools, parasites and scar-like marks to determine if they are from puncture wounds or gun pellets, officials said.
Back in December 2019, a warrant was served at the home for animal cruelty and animal fighting, officials said. Animal control seized a large number of dogs, and the homeowner was arrested. Those dogs eventually got new homes.
Officials said there was a court order restricting the property owner from possessing no more than five dogs while the case was under review by prosecutors for a charging decision.
Concerning Wednesday’s seizure, the homeowner was not arrested, and investigators said they’re waiting on medical reports and are continuing to work with prosecutors in the case.