Cheney Free Press -

Charges filed against Cheney-area couple in animal seizures


SPOKANE — Charges were filed Monday, Aug. 18 against Thomas Marlin, age 53, and Terri Marlin, age 51, as part of an investigation of animal cruelty and neglect conducted by Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) animal protection officers on July 18 at 23239 S. Cross Road in Cheney.

The Marlins have each been charged with one count of animal cruelty in the first degree, four counts of animal cruelty in the second degree and 12 counts of confinement of an animal in an unsafe manner. 

SCRAPS received a complaint during the recent Watermelon Hill fire regarding five horses that were temporarily evacuated to the Cheney Rodeo Grounds. The complainant was concerned that three of the horses were emaciated and not receiving proper care. 

SCRAPS served the warrant and began evaluating the animals for signs of neglect and animal cruelty. Animal protection officers seized a total of two horses, one llama, eight dogs and six cats that were either neglected and/or housed in unsafe conditions.

The property and residence were in horrific conditions, according to SCRAPS field operations manager Nicole Montano. 

“The inside of the home was covered with feces, urine and garbage,” Montano said in a news release. “The dogs and cats were living in filth and suffering from flea allergies. The outside of the property wasn’t any better.” 

One of the seized horses was emaciated and one was injured. The llama was also extremely emaciated. 

Animal Cruelty in the First degree (RWC 16.52.205) is a Class C felony with five years confinement and/or a $10,000 fine. RCW 16.52.207 indicates animal cruelty in the second degree and is a gross misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine. RCW 16.52.080 is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. 

None of the animals are available for adoption.

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