Deputies: Dogs at rescue facility treated badly
SALEM — A Salem woman who headed what was described as a rescue facility for hard-to-place dogs was arraigned Monday on 120 counts of animal neglect and one count of evidence tampering.
Alicia Inglish, 24, was arrested Sunday as Marion County sheriff's officers and Oregon Humane Society investigators removed more than 140 dogs from the Willamette Valley Animal Rescue in Brooks, north of Salem.
Many of the animals were housed in deplorable conditions, with little food, water fouled by garbage and cages designed for one animal but contained as many as four, authorities said.
Judge David Leith on Monday set Inglish's bail at $55,000 and said she's not permitted to have any contact with animals, the Salem Statesman Journal reported. Her next court appearance is scheduled Jan. 22.
The sheriff's office said most of the dogs seized were in poor condition: starving, sickly, some with eyes sealed shut by body fluids. They were living on concrete floors with no bedding, their cages contaminated with feces and urine."
An investigation began after authorities and the Humane Society got complaints that included allegations the dogs were often fed stale bread, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
The Humane Society has about 100 of the dogs at its northeast Portland shelter, spokesman David Lytle said. He said he didn't have information about the condition of the rest of the animals, which were distributed to state and county facilities.
Lytle said the organization didn't have any information about what caused the mistreatment. But often in such investigations, he said, it turns out “they start out with good intentions and people just get overwhelmed.”
A Salem man who volunteered at the facility for about two months told The Oregonian the leaders would travel to a shelter in Porterville, Calif., where dogs were likely to be euthanized, and return with 80 at a time, hoping to rehabilitate them and find homes for them.
The dogs were given both dry and wet dog food, said Christian Kidd, 23. “They weren't all starving,” he said.
Inglish “didn't want the dogs to die,” he said. “That's all she cared about.”
Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com