Lewis County Sheriff's deputies helped the county's public health department seize 38 dogs from a Centralia property on Thursday that were living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Humane officers and the state veterinarian also responded to the residence in the 1600 block of Little Hanaford Road.
The seizure came after an investigation that began in late April thanks to a tip. The resident at the property was uncooperative and officials only obtained a search warrant after a visit by the Lewis County Humane Officer.
According to the Lewis County Sheriff's Office, a 49-year-old man was keeping and breeding puppies to sell.
Twenty-one adult dogs and 17 puppies were all kept in a 28 to 30 foot RV with crates stacked on top of each other. Authorities say they were sleeping in and eating their own feces. The dogs are currently at the Lewis County Animal Shelter, where they are being treated for dehydration and other ailments.
In addition to the dogs, domesticated rats, chickens, quail and a goat lived on the property. One kennel contained dead baby possums mixed with live dogs.
The man who lived on the property was arrested, but due to severe medical issues was taken to Centralia Providence Hospital then transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
He faces charges of second degree animal cruelty.