Mason County malnourished dogs find temporary homes

MASON COUNTY, Wash. — A troubling story out of Mason County has now turned to one of hope. KIRO 7 has learned that all 67 dogs that were found by the sheriff’s office to be either underfed or emaciated have been moved to foster homes or shelters.

There were multiple breeds found on the property, including fourteen Huskies. The Mason County Humane Society told KIRO 7 they were initially having trouble placing the Huskies because shelters all over Washington are inundated with them.

Thankfully, all the dogs are now being cared for as they recover and gain back strength. Four of the dogs, two of them Huskies, are now being cared for by PAWS Animal Shelter in Lynnwood.

“We’re just so amazed at how social and friendly these dogs are and just eager to interact with us and eager for the human attention and they’re just lovely dogs and we’re happy to give them a second chance here,” Rachel Bird, the shelter operations manager at PAWS,” said.

The influx of Huskies in shelters and rescues is being felt across the state of Washington.

“There’s too many and we need help,” Christina Rader, the founder and director of Hope for Huskies, a rescue in eastern Washington, said. “The influx is major. We need fosters and we need adopters.”

Rader told KIRO 7 that she is constantly getting messages and requests to take in more Huskies.

“I could probably receive emails alone, at least ten per day asking me to take their husky or they found a husky,” she said. “Facebook is a constant, can you take my husky, or I found this husky, I’m getting tagged on Facebook groups hey I found these puppies, it’s nonstop it really is.”

Rader said the problem stems from backyard breeding and failure by some pet owners to spay and neuter their Huskies. She also said laws in Washington aren’t strict enough.

“We could get breeding laws, have restrictions, you know follow ups, we need stricter laws, we need heavy fines, and we need to stop the breeding, that is the biggest thing,” Rader said. Bird also said that pop culture and local sports has also had a major influence on the breed’s popularity.

“I hate to blame Game of Thrones, but they really made the husky breed a bit more popular,” Bird said. “Everybody wanted their own dire wolf you know so I think the breeding of huskies really boomed.”

Bird also said that the University of Washington’s mascot also has played a big part in Husky popularity.

“I think because of U-dub it’s almost a status symbol in Washington to have a husky but I think in the last few years here we’ve just seen the husky population really boom and there’s just more huskies now than there are adopters for them.”

Both women agree that people often bring these dogs home without fully understanding the breed.

“You have to give them that mental enrichment you have to give them that fun outdoor adventures you got to burn off that energy. They’re almost like toddlers in the sense of if they don’t have activities, they’re going to find their own,” Bird said.

At this point none of the dogs from Mason County are available for adoption yet, but PAWS has plenty of other animals in need of forever homes and they always need volunteers and donations. You can learn more or donate here.

Hope for Huskies has several dogs available for adoption and are also in need of donations. You can help or learn more here.