Woman arrested after 67 underfed dogs found on her Mason County property

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a woman they say had 67 dogs on her property that were all either malnourished, underfed or emaciated.

“It’s very unfortunate that these dogs had to suffer and what they’ve gone through,” Matt Colbenson, with the sheriff’s office, said. He told KIRO 7 that a neighbor had called for help Sunday after seeing one of the dogs in the road that looked sickly.

“They had seen one of the dogs that was having a hard time walking out in the neighborhood, deputies had contacted, contacted the dog and eventually contacted the owner and that’s when the investigation began,” Colbenson said.

As of Monday, deputies were still executing the search warrant, and the owner was still in custody, facing animal cruelty charges.

The Mason County Humane Society is on the scene as well, helping provide care to the dogs and working to find them foster homes.

There were also two horses found on the property. Colbenson said one of the horses appears to have died a couple of months ago and the other was in satisfactory condition.

“Everybody is just scared, under socialized but nobody seems to be fearful or fear-aggressive but definitely fearful,” Katherine Johnson, the executive director of the Mason County Humane Society, said. There isn’t an animal shelter in the county so the dogs have nowhere else to go.

“It’s foster-based, so it’s really difficult on this scale, unknown temperaments and all these different large breeds to get them all into foster,” Johnson said. Deputies are not releasing the name of the woman because she hasn’t been formally charged yet.

“We are trying to make sure that we do our best footwork to make sure that we are getting the veterinary documentation we need to step forward in a cruelty investigation,” Johnson said. Deputies said they still don’t know why the woman had so many dogs, but told KIRO 7 that there’s no running water on the property or electricity.

“You wonder how it got this way, there’s just so many dogs that are underfed, malnourished and basically starving,” Colbenson said. The Mason County Humane Society told KIRO 7 they need foster homes for the dogs that are still on the property. If you can’t help foster or adopt, they also need donations to help with food and medical costs for the dogs. You can donate or apply to foster here.