This is a blog about the protest of Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Washington, where a confirmed 125 dogs (sole employee confirmed this information to a protestor) are living in cages, never walked, never going outside, never leaving in many cases what is a tiny, confining crate.
To visit the Seattle Dogspot Blog, whose creator came out this week to see for himself, go to this link. He is writing about this daily at this time: http://www.seattledogspot.com/blog/dog-blog/post/olympic-animal-sanctuary-just-a-jail-for-dogs
To read the history and see photos and police reports, visit this facebook page:
To read the history of Dogs Deserve Better’s attempts to help and gain return of a dog our organization sent there 1.5 years ago or to donate for our legal fees incurred from fighting for Sonny’s freedom, visit this link: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/sonny.html.
I want to take time this morning to thank everyone who has made this issue blow up. It has been a combined effort of a ton of people all helping in their own ways. I’m very hesitant to name ANY names on this blog anymore besides Robin and myself, because it’s already too late for us—we’ve already been hit with a restraining order to silence our free speech.
When I defied the order and practiced free speech anyway, I was arrested and am still facing a charge for doing so. Yet I know in my heart it was the right thing to do, because as citizens of America we must prize above all our right to free speech. If anyone is using a loophole in the law in order to silence our free speech, then we have a duty and a moral obligation to stand against the injustice and bullying tactics. I did so, I will take whatever consequences they want to dish out to me, and I do not regret it for a moment.
This video of the dogs crying for help and no one is there and then me getting arrested for holding a protest sign has already garnered 25,000 views on YouTube.
Every day that we have been prohibited to stand in front of Olympic Animal Sanctuary with our signs, other protestors have come and stood in our place. Not only other protestors, but the creator of Seattle Dogspot, who wanted to see for himself what the truth was. He confirmed what we’ve been saying and even more, as people in the local area came out to talk to him and tell him their stories.
The attempt to impede our free speech has only resulted in bringing out MORE attention and MORE protestors of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary.
Others are to return today, and the big groups are being deluged with requests to get involved. I suspect more will come forward on that involvement within days.
This isn’t going away, in fact it’s just started to blow up.
I made the mistake of reading comments on blogs and articles posted on our Dogs Deserve Better facebook page. That never ends well, because I was floored to see people who still want to believe Olympic Animal Sanctuary’s warehouse is NOT exactly what it appears to be: an utter HELL for its 125 inhabitants. They want to believe what they are told by others, instead of believing the photos and videos that cannot but speak the truth.
I am always one of the last to jump on any bandwagon against another group, because I’ve been hit with more smear campaigns than I can shake a stick at. But the police reports, the eye witness photos, all the stories of actual people who’ve been there are are speaking out gel together. They fit.
One of the stories that most saddens me came from a woman who volunteered there for only a day over two years ago, and the biggest reason it saddens me is because it’s been going on for so long. The conditions described are exactly as they are described by police last year and by others who have been involved. These include but are not limited to: dogs living in stacked crates, dogs NEVER getting out of the crates, dogs without water, dogs living in their own feces, intense smell of ammonia, dogs fed meat with maggots on it, pledges by the organization not to tell anyone because they are fixing the problems.
Yet the problems are not fixed, are they? They haven’t changed at all, despite a deal cut with police to release dogs to rescue and cut down to 60 dogs.
How do you cut a deal with police in order to avoid a cruelty charge and then disregard it as if it means nothing?
And nothing happens as a result? I sneeze the wrong way and I get arrested.
IF THERE WERE NO PROBLEMS AT THE OLYMPIC ANIMAL SANCTUARY, OTHER NONPROFITS WOULD BE GIVEN THE COURTESY OF A TOUR AND NOT A RESTRAINING ORDER.
IF THERE WERE NO PROBLEMS AT OAS, ANYONE COULD DO A WELFARE CHECK FOR THEMSELVES BECAUSE THERE WOULD BE NOTHING TO SEE.
Yet no one is allowed in. No one.
There remains only one worker that has been seen going inside for perhaps 2 hours a day. I personally have never witnessed ANYONE going in in the three days I was allowed to practice free speech before my arrest.
Not one single dog has come into or gone out of the facility for a walk or to the play yard. The lone dog who was in the yard can now be seen in the window of the building.
Even if this kid is somehow working 8 hours a day, this isn’t nearly enough to walk and feed and water and clean cages for 125 dogs, which he himself confirmed was the number of dogs inside.
These dogs cry mournfully for help. You can get a restraining order falsely against two people, but you can never get it against the flood of people that is coming.
Last but not least, in order to see the mentality of the person who got the restraining order against two middle-aged women with signs in front of a warehouse full of dogs because he felt ‘threatened’ somehow, this is what he wrote when asked why he didn’t just talk to us.
“I want to make myself perfectly clear. It is not that I am unwilling to take the time away from my work to talk to these people. I am, in fact, unwilling to take the time away from scratching my nuts to talk to them. That’s where they rank among my priorities, and why anyone holds them in any higher regard than that is now and ever shall be a mystery to me.”
For me, that’s all I’d ever need to read.
Today I’m sending out a Thank You to my husband Joe. When everyone else told me not to get arrested, Joe said “I believe in you.” When I said don’t bail me out Joe said “I’ll miss you.” And last night, though this war is far from over and he fears for my safety, he told me “I’m proud of you.” Any moment you’ve been in my life has been a blessing, Joe. Thank you.
I want to encourage everyone today to keep up this fight. My soul is broken for Sonny and the other dogs, but we must be strong and all help in whatever way we can. We must.
Although our hearts break, we must use this emotion to grow stronger. Although our tears fall, we must think and act and INSIST on change for these dogs.
State cruelty laws are being broken, and the fact alone that they have not nearly the staff to care for this many dogs and the lack of exercise and space requirements observed just in the past week by many, many people—even from the outside of the unheated warehouse—must be enough for a welfare check for these dogs.
Washington State Law:
2) 16.52.207 (Second degree cruelty).
Here is the language to use:
A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.
(2) An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:
(a) Fails to provide the animal with necessary shelter, rest, sanitation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure;
It’s obvious from the smell and the overcrowded conditions and the lack of exercise and staff that these laws are being broken. Continue to write and call all the places available at the links in the top.
We have meetings set up today with three of the people you have been writing and calling. We will demand answers in person while you demand answers via phone and email.
Do not stop. Do not EVER stop until these dogs are free.
Thank you, Tamira