Furever Homes Dog Rescue Responsible for Dogs Deaths
Yesterday afternoon KIRO 7 reported that a fire killed 18 dogs in a “warehouse-like” building occupied by Furever Homes Dog Rescue.
KIRO 7 said 3 mother dogs and their 15 puppies died of smoke inhalation. Joint Animal Services said about 20 dogs survived the fire.
I’ve written extensively about Furever Homes and its owner Sharon Gold over the last year:
- Furever Homes Dog Rescue: 100+ cases with Thurston County Animal Control since 2010
- After 3+ months, Furever Homes dog rescue still has too many dogs
- Judge issues restraining order against Furever Homes rescue director Sharon Gold
- Thurston County cracks down on Furever Homes Dog Rescue
- Furever Homes rescue is operating in violation of Thurston County codes
- Furever Homes rescue illegally brought puppies from Mexico into Washington
- Thurston County dog rescue turns military family’s fostering experience into a nightmare
- Washington state’s animal cruelty laws are a joke
Based on the evidence I’ve seen, I consider Furever Home one of the worst dog rescues in Washington.
Yesterday’s fire reinforced my opinion of this supposed dog “rescue.”
Rescue Moved 8 Times to Avoid Regulations
Gold told KIRO that the fire started because “her friend had been helping with laundry and had left the dryer running.”
I assume no one was home when the fire started since Gold was out of town.
For those of you counting, this is the 8th location for Furever Homes.
Like most disreputable dog rescues, Furever Homes moves around in order to avoid being held accountable for violating local rules and/or regulations or trashing a rental property.
I believe Gold moved Furever Homes again due to increasing pressure for not having kennel license at her previous location.
Thurston County requires facilities with more than 3 dogs to have a kennel license. Her landlord had also planned to do an extensive renovation there soon.
He didn’t even know Gold was operating Furever Homes at his property until the Olympian reported she had 85 dogs in her home in 2015.
I wonder if her new Tumwater landlord knew she was going to put an unlicensed kennel on his/her property.
Sharon Gold Refused to Get Kennel License
Tumwater requires facilities with more than 3 dogs to get a kennel license. Gold told the reporter that because she hadn’t been able to apply for a kennel license yet.
But why would she move to a new location without getting the proper permits? Isn’t that what a reputable rescue would do?
If you think she’s actually going to apply for one I have a couple of floating bridges on Lake Washington that I’d like to sell you.
Last year Thurston County officials told her last year she had to get a kennel license. To my knowledge she never applied for one.
I doubt she’s ever applied for a kennel license for Furever Homes as it would subject the rescue to increased scrutiny and regulations.
It’s also much better to be classified as a rescue because private dog rescues in Washington are virtually exempt from governmental oversight.
Private dog rescues in Washington have no limit on the number of dogs they can have, no specifications on how often the dogs should be allowed outside their kennels/crates, no specifications on how large enclosures should be to allow dogs to move around, no sanitation/cleanliness standards, and no rules requiring medical treatment for sick animals.
Breeders with more than 10 dogs “must have a means of fire suppression, such as functioning fire extinguishers, on the premises.”
Private rescues are exempt from this requirement as well.
Washington’s Animal Cruelty Laws Too Weak
That’s why authorities could not prosecute her in the summer of 2015 when the Olympian reported she had 85 dogs in her home and described in lurid detail the horrific conditions in which they lived:
“Sharon Gold admits the first impression inside Furever Homes, especially when the doors open midmorning, can be unsettling.
The stench of feces and urine can trigger your gag reflex. After spending the night crowded in cages, dozens of dogs bark in a deafening chorus as they are herded into a small fenced area in the parking lot outside a warehouse on Tumwater’s outskirts.
A blue tarp covers this bedroom-sized pen, which is the dogs’ lone outdoor respite. The dogs swarm Gold in a cacophony of barking and pent-up canine energy. Some of the dogs try to climb a concrete wall back into the warehouse, only to fall short of the goal and return to jumping on an old mattress with a hole chewed in it.”
Because of Washington’s weak animal protection laws, I doubt Gold will be held accountable for the deaths of the 3 mother dogs and 15 puppies yesterday.
What about the 19 dogs that survived?
Gold says she has them and is trying to find foster homes for them.
Unfortunately, she is not legally required to tell anyone how or where they are.
And no one has mentioned what happened to the frozen bodies of the poor dogs that died in the fire.
Thurston County taxpayers will probably foot the bill for their disposal and Gold will get off scot free.
I’ll continue to follow this story and report new details as I hear them. In the meantime, tell anyone looking to adopt a rescue dog, not to adopt a dog from Furever Homes or Sharon Gold.
Washington has dozens of reputable dog rescues they can choose from.