MARION COUNTY, Ore. - More than 140 dogs were rescued early Monday morning and a woman was arrested after a criminal investigation in Marion County.
Dozens of dogs of many breeds, many needing medical help, are now staying at the Oregon Humane Society in Portland and at other local shelters after they arrived at around 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Oregon Humane Society workers say many of the dogs are not in good shape. The dogs were housed in an indoor facility at the Willamette Valley Animal Rescue in Brooks, located north of Salem, according to Don Thompson with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Monday afternoon, OHS said a total of 149 dogs were rescued.
Thompson said 120 of the dogs were suffering from neglect including malnutrition. Many were kept in filthy and overcrowded conditions.
Alicia Inglish, 24, was arrested and charged with 120 counts of animal neglect and one count of tampering with evidence. Thompson said more arrests are expected.
A worker with the Oregon Humane Society, said they received reports of problems with an adoption of a dog from a Marion County facility that was supposed to be an animal rescue operation but "was more of a hoarding situation."
Thompson said deputies and code enforcement officers at first attempted to work with the operators of Willamette Valley Animal Rescue to resolve the complaints without taking formal enforcement action.
"Unfortunately, our efforts were met with a lack of cooperation," Thompson said in a press release. He also said the facility refused to work with the Oregon Humane Society.
Thompson said multiple dogs were found kept in small transport containers designed for just one animal and there was no staff at the facility. Only a small amount of dog food was found and water for the dogs was contaminated. Thompson said it appeared many of the dogs were fed stale bread.
Elsewhere on the property, dogs ran free or huddled in small runs. Feces and urine fouled the facility, Thompson said.
"Many of the dogs appeared to be extremely under weight and suffering from starvation and malnutrition. Others appeared sick and some had their eyes sealed shut with body fluids," Thompson said.
An OHS worker said all of the dogs would be cared for at the Portland facility and other local shelters.
He did not say when or if the dogs would be available for adoption. Thompson said 21 deputies and volunteers worked through the night to move the animals.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sr. Deputy Dale Huitt at email@example.com.