Animals taken from Cheney-area home
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) personnel and Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy removed several animals from a Cheney residence on the 23200 block of South Cross Road, Wednesday, July 30.
SCRAPS received a complaint during the Watermelon Hill Fire — that burned up to 13,000 acres southwest of Cheney — in regards to five horses that were evacuated to the Cheney Rodeo Grounds. The complaint said the horses appeared thin.
According to a news release, SCRAPS Animal Protection officers conducted tests on the horses and determined that three of them were abnormally thin and malnourished. Three of the horses had low body condition scores. On a scale of 1-9 —1 being emaciated and 9 being obese — the three horses rated a 1.5, 2.5 and a 3 respectively. A body condition score below 3 is considered critical.
SCRAPS obtained an insurance warrant for the residence and rescued 17 animals — eight dogs, six cats, two horses and one llama — from the premises.
In a news release, SCRAPS field operations manager, Nicole Montano said the residence was in horrible condition.
“The inside of the home was covered with feces, urine and garbage,” Montano said in the release. “The dogs and cats were living in filth and suffering from flea allergies. The outside of the property is not in any better condition.”
SCRAPS is looking at the results from evaluations and other evidence to see if they will press charges against the owners. If convicted the owners may face second-degree animal cruelty charges and could receive up to 364 days in jail, along with a fine up to $5,000. The case is still under investigation and a veterinarian will evaluate the animals. None of the animals are available for adoption.
SCRAPS will hold the animals for 15 days. Director Nancy Hill said “because the animals are property, the owners have to petition for return of the animals.”
“If the owner petitions for the return, there will be a hearing,” Hill said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.