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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

South Sounders Taking Action: Local Animal Neglect/Abuse Case

One of the great privileges of living in the South Sound, specifically Pierce County, Washington is that I bear witness, on almost a daily basis, to the kindness, compassion, and advocacy of my fellow citizens. Whether they are an average person (like me), someone in the mix of working the day to day operations of solving problems, or an elected official, I get the sense (and see the evidence) that we are all in this together and we want to help. Such is the case in the recent seizure of over 70 animals from an Eatonville, WA residence that were horribly neglected and living in very poor conditions.
Upon seeing this story on the front page of The News Tribune, citizens and other groups offered to help  these animals (which ranged from domesticated pets, like dogs and cats to farm animals). I, myself, was moved into action. Personally speaking, I was particularly on fire to help due to some articles and viral Facebook posts, videos, and e-mails on some very recent and horrific national animal abuse/neglect cases. But I was particularly passionate to get involved with this story due to the simple fact that this incident was in my own backyard.
So, I decided to send an e-mail to the Pierce County Auditor’s office (where Animal Services resides) to ask what I can do to be of assistance. I am glad I did.
I heard back from Pierce County Auditor, Julie Anderson, herself, along with Tim Anderson, Animal Services Manager. In light of the fact that I knew this was a busy office with many responsibilities, I was surprised (and delighted) that I received a prompt and thoughtful response. What was clear to me, is the that Animal Services team led to by our Auditor, care about the welfare of the animals and are working as quickly and diligently as possible to address the injustices to the animals and to ensure the animals are safe, secure, cared for, and receiving treatment to restore their health.  And I was impressed by the fact, though they are working with legal confinements and limited budgetary resources, they are energetic to engage new ideas and processes and to remain vigilant to protect animals. I also liked  that they appreciated citizen input and involvement. Along with our officials,  I love the fact that animal organizations locally have stepped up to the plate help. This is a good news story, as I’ve said, and will reiterate again, that Pierce County residents have good hearts and can (and do!) work together.
More good news. The animals that were taken from the property are all receiving the care that they require in safe facilities. As the case unfolds, I suspect that in the end, many of the animals will be able to be adopted by loving people in our community. We shall see; but I am confident this case will close peacefully and appropriately. I am also confident, readers, that this is just the beginning of more animal advocacy, discussion, and education in our community. Wouldn’t you agree?
In the meantime, in response to the public's desire to help, the Auditor encouraged people to make donations to the following organizations:

Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
2608 Center St.
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 383-2733

Ripley's Horse Aid Foundation
1530 William Way #204
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 424-8250

Pierce County Animal Control
2401 South 35th St., Room 200
Tacoma WA 98409-7483
(253) 798-PETS

I'll be making my donation today.

Update, June 9th:  The TNT's Kathleen Merryman has a column that appears this morning about this neglect case and the issue of animal hoarding. This is a good piece with sound tips. It also gives illustration of who we can move forward to fix the problem and shortened response time. Check it out HERE.


Stephanie Frieze said...

Wonderful post, Kim! I believe that we are here to be stewards of the earth and animals. It is part of why I advocate eating organic and locally in order to prevent cruelty to farm animals as well.

Kim Thompson said...

Right on Stephanie!

The other thing I appreciated was being able to positively act with my elected officials. It's an honor to do that.

Lorraine Hart said...

We are definitely here to be stewards to ALL OUR RELATIONS...and I do believe a society can be judged on how they treat all.

Good for you Kim! We must stand up for our friends. I believe I'd vote for you as Gritty City Mayor!

Kim Thompson said...

Gritty Mayor? LOL! Well, I appreciate the compliment, but I am happy just being a little ol' blogger and watch dog. Woof Woof!

Lorraine Hart said...

My friend Jessica (one of the most beautiful brides I've married) works at the Humane Society, tirelessly, in the name of all our friends.

A big thank you to all who work on behalf of those who can't speak up for themselves!

Okay, you don't hafta be mayor...just keep rockin' with what you're doing Kim! xo

Bill in Mill Creek said...

I have one of the dogs from that home. His name is Cozmo and he has been with me since July 12th 2010. He's a little MinPin and to date he is no less than 18 years old. . . . He is 100% blind now, but his health is great. . . I take good care of him, he is with me at least 20 hours a day. He's a good dog, tries very hard and he is so nice.