Last Wednesday the Thurston County Permitting and Land Use Office served notice to Furever Homes dog rescue founder Sharon Gold that she was in violation of the ordinance limiting residents to 3 dogs.
According to my sources she had 12 dogs on site, but last June the Olympian reported she had 85 dogs on the property.
Source also told me that Ms. Gold’s landlord will evict her from the property on April 1 as her rental agreement didn’t allow her to have dogs.
According to Joint Animal Services Director Dr. Ric Torgerson, “a compliance issue was discovered at Ms. Gold’s operation and apparently she had signed an agreement to rent under the obligation to have no animals on site.”
Since Ms. Gold’s business is still registered with the state she could try to run Furever Homes Dog Rescue in another Washington county, but the Washington Secretary of State could make it more difficult for her by refusing to renew her registration with the state, which expires on March 31.
Furthermore, Ms. Gold is violating the federal Animal Welfare Act by bringing in puppies from Mexico that are less than 6 months old and not having health certificates for each dog she imports, so she could face sanctions from the US Department of Agriculture.
Officials present when Ms. Gold received the notice said she mentioned moving her rescue to Bellevue, which is in King County. They assured her they would alert officials about her history in whatever jurisdiction she tries to set up shop.
The one thing I don’t understand is why it took so long for the Thurston County Permitting and Land Use office to issue a citation to Ms. Gold after the Olympian article showed she had 85 dogs on site.
Why was this situation allowed to drag out another 8 months? Hopefully we’ll have an answer to this question soon.
Regardless, Thurston County officials should be commended for taking action against Ms. Gold and what I consider a shady dog rescue group.
In my experience writing about dog rescues in Washington, it’s the few times I know of that city, county, or state officials in Washington took enforcement action against an active dog rescue operating in violation of a law/ordinance.
I hope it becomes a trend, because Washington still has lots of shady dog rescue groups that are still operating.