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Help on the way for Olympic Animal Sanctuary?

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Last month KOMO News did an expose on the horrific conditions at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, WA. The story unleashed an avalanche of criticism on the 4000 square foot facility that houses about 125 dogs, many of which spend most of their lives in crates.Many dogs at Olympic Animal Sanctuary live in crates stacked on top of each other. Image from OAS - Life Inside the Sanctuary.

Steve Markwell started OAS as "a permanent home for dogs that are not realistically adoptable due to severe behavior issues."

But what started as an admirable mission has twisted into a bunker mentality that has pitted Markwell against anyone who questions whether or not he can adequately care for over a hundred dogs virtually by himself.

Markwell has become so distrustful of outsiders over the last few months that he has refused to let anyone into the facility to see the conditions in which the dogs live. Fortunately, a change appears to be on the horizon.

Guardians of Rescue, a respected national animal rescue group, recently posted this announcement on its Facebook page:

"UPDATE ON OLYMPIC ANIMAL SANCTUARY, Washington State.
our President Robert Misseri has been welcomed to help the situation at hand, and will be at the facility with in a week.
we will be sharing more information, as we can only share limited details at this this time.
"

Many dogs at Olympic Animal Sancturay spend the majority of the time in crates. Image from OAS - Life Inside the Sancturary.This is great news.

As the supporters and detractors of Olympic Animal Sanctuary have been snipping at each other for weeks on Facebook, it has become easy to forget main reason for the conflict - the health and safety of the dogs there. The arrival of Guardians of Rescue will bring in an objective observer who can report to the outside world the conditions in which these dogs.

My only concern is how much notice OAS will get before Misseri arrives. With several days notice Markwell and his supporters may have time to clean things up so the facility will look better than it actually is.

But really, even if that happens, there is only so much you can do to make a small warehouse with dozens of dogs in crates stacked on each other look good. In my opinion, no one person, regardless of the purity of their intentions and their love for the dogs, can adequately care for that many animals.

To me, it boarders on hoarding.

Just last week, Markwell took in a dozen more dogs (a mom and her 11 puppies) even though he has admitted the dwinding donations make it increasing difficult to care for the dogs he has. To me, this showed a disturbing lack of judgement, and it might just be the most accurate indicator that Markwell cannot be trusted to care for these dogs.

I'll pass along more information about Misseri's visit as I get it.

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