This week multiple media outlets reported that an investigation initiated by Seattle Animal Shelter Humane’s Animal Law Enforcement Officers led to the arrest of Tammy Nguyen and her boyfriend, Erich Daulo for allegedly running a dog fighting operation in South Seattle.
According to the Seattle Police Department Blotter, the case began when the Seattle Animal Shelter investigated “neighbors’ complaints of dogs tied up and barking” at a South Seattle residence. A second complaint “led to one of the dogs being recovered by a City of Seattle’s Humane Animal Law Enforcement Officer who noticed scars covering the dogs face.”
The Washington State Gambling Commission and the Seattle Police Department’s Major Crimes Task Force were then brought in to investigate the case. After finding a website belonging to the couple that advertised pit bulls for sale and claimed the dogs had bloodlines of famous fighting dogs, undercover officers set up a meeting with the suspects “to purchase a dog for the intended purpose of illegal animal fighting.”
Officers arrested the male suspect after “he showed photos and a video of his dogs fighting on his phone to the undercover officer to encourage the sale.”
After obtaining a warrant, the City of Seattle’s Humane Animal Law Enforcement Officers rescued 5 dogs kept in “deplorable conditions.” The Washington State Gambling Commission and the Seattle Police Major Crimes Task Force also seized 4 firearms, illegal dog fighting training devices, and $26,000 in cash.
Both suspects were booked into King County Jail for Animal Cruelty, Animal Fighting, and Professional Gambling charges.
Police said Daulo is a convicted felon and had two active arrest warrants stemming from 2008 crimes in Seattle. He moved to Seattle after hiding out in Louisiana for seven years.
The agencies and officers that participated in this investigation deserve major kudos. As I’ve learned, some public officials and officers in Washington turn a blind eye to animal cruelty in their jurisdictions.
The most blatant example of this occurred in Forks, WA where police and city officials refused to investigate multiple complaints about the abuse and neglect of 124 held captive at the Olympic Animal “Sanctuary” by its founder Steve Markwell, even after the police department’s own photos clearly showed the dogs were starving and living in horrific conditions.
And although Clallam County Animal Control had the authority to step in after Forks turned a blind eye to the abuse at the “Sanctuary,” officials there did nothing to help the dogs either.
More recently, Clallam County officials apparently ignored multiple complaints of animal abuse and neglect against a man in Sequim until someone posted pictures of rotting animal corpses on the property on Craiglist.
Fortunately, the Seattle Animal Shelter and Seattle Police don’t ignore reports of animal abuse and neglect. They take their responsibility for protecting animals seriously.
That’s why they took immediate action after hearing complaints last month about the dogs and shut down the alleged dog fighting ring quickly.
No dithering. No shoulder shrugging. No excuses. They just did their job.
If you have a chance, please go to the Facebook pages of the Seattle Animal Shelter and Seattle Police Department to post a message thanking them for arresting the couple running the dog fighting ring and saving the dogs they had.
And don’t forget, none of this would have happened if neighbors hadn’t filed complaints with the Shelter. Officers can’t be everywhere, so it’s critical that citizens report instances of animal abuse and neglect.
If you see something, say something!