Animal lovers gathered outside Edmonds Municipal Court Wednesday afternoon as a woman and her boyfriend appeared in court to face animal cruelty charges.
"She's out of control and we're here to stop her," said Sindy Staggers, an animal activist.
Rose Adams pleaded not guilty to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of owning more than five animals.
"It doesn't surprise me, she's in complete denial," said Naomi Phillips, an animal activist.
Protesters, many wearing t-shirts showing a photo of a bloodied dog they say is one of the dogs abused by Adams, want the cruelty charges to be upgraded from misdemeanors to felony charges.
"She allowed this to happen, she watched it and she subjected them to this so she should get some jail time," said Phillips.
Adams and her boyfriend, George Albert Beutler, were arrested last week after police and animal control officers began investigating allegations of animal cruelty.
Misdemeanor charges could allow up to five of the 14 seized dogs returned to Adams' home. Protesters hoped to sway the judge’s decision.
The investigation started more than a week ago when a video showing several dogs appearing to gang up on one dog and viciously attack it went viral.
[Watch video - WARNING - graphic]
The abuse was so disturbing, Adams' own son turned her in.
"I've been assaulted a few times, now I find a Craigslist Ad has been put up looking for me, which is no doubt for retribution," said Logan Broliath.
Broliath claims a stack of police reports in his possession tracks her animal mistreatment for months.
"Nothing actually happened until that video went viral," he said.
Edmonds Police and Animal Control units served a search warrant on the home in the 23600 block of 76th Ave. W Edmonds as part of the investigation into alleged animal cruelty at the residence.
Edmonds Police detectives, patrol officers and animal control officers searched and found 14 dogs in and around the residence. Initial investigation by the animal control officers showed that only 5 dogs were properly licensed.
Adams was taken into custody at the residence, because City of Edmonds ordinance prohibits keeping more than five domestic animals. She was booked into the Snohomish County Jail under this charge and has also been charged with two counts of animal abuse, one count of creating a public disturbance (barking dogs), and one count of refusing to cooperate with law enforcement according to Edmonds Police.
All 14 dogs were impounded until the five that are properly licensed can be identified. Police say two of the dogs — including the one seen in the video — were taken to a local veterinarian for treatment. The dog seen in the video suffered from numerous dog bites and a second dog had an injured leg.
Adams told the judge she wants the dogs back.
"It shows there's no sympathy. She's just fighting for herself in court to get these dogs back," said Marcy Davis, a protester.
The impounded dogs will be kept at a local kennel until the investigation is completed.