Puppy mill bust prompts calls for changes to Washington animal l - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Puppy mill bust prompts calls for changes to Washington animal laws

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STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -

Following a puppy mill bust and the arrest of a couple in Stevens County, a big question remains: Could something have been done sooner?

Forty dogs were rescued from horrible conditions at Theresa and Thomas Hostetler's home, and Wednesday most of those dogs have been taken to other shelters in Washington and Oregon. 

Rescue4All founder Jamie McAtee says the dogs and cats were found in their own feces, some chained to trees, and there were even some dead dogs found on the property. 

"I've never seen anything like this before. It's something that I've experienced before, I've seen the aftermath, but nothing like that," McAtee said.

According to the Stevens County Sheriff, the Hostetlers were charged with one count of felony animal cruelty, two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and obstruction of law enforcement. McAtee says she wishes Stevens County deputies would have stepped up sooner and alleviate the situation.

"I just don't want to let up the pressure because if this doesn't prompt them to get them and make the changes that they need to do, it'll go back to the way it was," she said.

The rescued dogs will go on to live better lives, but McAtee says something should have happened sooner rather than later.

"The RCWs and the animal laws in our state are not good enough," McAtee said. "Something needs to be changed."

The sheriff says more changes may be coming, but that's up to the prosecutor to decide.

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