TACOMA, Wash. - A Pierce County judge has refused to return 20 dogs and a duck to their Eatonville owners.
District Court Judge Judy Jasprica told the four owners that loving the animals isn't enough -- you have to care for them too. The dogs were among 77 animals, including 18 horses, seized June 3 at the home at 8706 330th Street East by county officials who cited deplorable living conditions.
"This is the worst I've seen by far," Pierce County Animal Services Manager Tim Anderson, who has worked for Pierce County for 8 years, said at the time of the raid. "The conditions inside the house are just horrendous."
Officers say the home has been under investigation for a year. The owners -- Bonnie and Lori Neisinger and Beverly and Holly Marks -- had allegedly been ordered to reduce the number of animals they had at the house and clean up the conditions, but that didn't happen.
"We ran out of patience and decided to impound the animals," said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson at the time.
The judge says the dogs can be made available for adoption.
The owners say they'll appeal. Holly Marks tells The News Tribune, "It's like they stole my children."