Seattle man charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty

Seattle man charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A Seattle man with more than 200 animals recovered from his home has been charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty, according to documents filed in King County Superior Court.

Charging documents stated that Matthew Hazelbrook, “did unlawfully and with criminal negligence starve, dehydrate, suffocate, or expose to excessive heat or cold an animal…”

>>More than 200 animals recovered from West Seattle home in animal cruelty investigation

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Hazelbrook was arrested on Oct. 15 for investigation of animal cruelty.

A member of the Seattle Animal Shelter, along with a Seattle officer, found numerous animals at his home and an unknown number of dead animals at a second home on his property after a search warrant was served.

Police records stated that every room of the home had animals living in cages and that the floors were covered with hay, animal feces and animal food.

There were also animal skeletons in a structure behind the home, one in a cage and the other on the floor, according to police records.

Police records stated an estimated 75 animal skeletons were found in Hazelbrook’s other home next door.

Ann Graves, the animal shelter’s director, described the scene as one of the most severe cases of animal neglect and cruelty she has seen in her 20-year career.

The day after Hazelbrook’s arrest, a judge found probable cause for first-degree animal cruelty charges and set bail at $7,500. Hazelbrook posted bond.

Hazelbrook’s arraignment has been scheduled for 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 25 in the King County Courthouse, where he is expected to enter a plea.