OR Neglect Case Involves 149 Dogs

On Sunday, 149 dogs were seized from Willamette Animal Rescue in Oregon and the organization’s president, Alicia Inglish was charged with 120 counts of animal neglect and one count of evidence tampering:

While 120 of the dogs met the legal standard for neglect, all were in need of medical care.

Don Thompson, spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said authorities had inspected the facility twice previously but the allegations which led to those inspections turned out to be unfounded.  This time however, dogs were found in terrible conditions at the 7500 square foot building used by Willamette Animal Rescue:

Inside were 149 dogs, some starving, some whose eyes were sealed shut with bodily fluids, authorities said. As many as five dogs were kept in kennels designed for one. The stench was overwhelming. Waste ran down from one crate perched atop many others, to pool on the concrete floor.

Sharon Harmon, executive director of the Oregon Humane Society which took 110 of the seized dogs, describes the neglect as “tragic”:

Some of the dogs were in such an advanced state of starvation that technicians will have to use a “refeeding program” to reintroduce small amounts of easily digestible food.

“Those dogs were shut down. They don’t show interest in food,” Harmon said.


Harmon said officials found just two bags of dog food in the warehouse, along with the dogs’ primary food: stale bread.

Someone who adopted a dog from Willamette Animal Rescue one year ago recalled paying between $150 – $250 for the pet, who was unhealthy.  The adopter never saw the building.

Ms. Inglish reportedly worked at a pet supply store for about 6 months last year but stopped showing up for work in September.

A former volunteer says the dogs were pulled from pet killing facilities in CA and were fed both canned and dry food.  He believes Ms. Inglish simply became overwhelmed because of her desire to save the dogs from being killed at the pound.

The Marion Co pound took in 25 of the dogs and the remaining 14 went to the Willamette HS.

There are a number of photos at the links and the dogs do appear to be starving and neglected. There are even tiny adult dogs with their bones showing who would require a very small amount of food daily to maintain their body weight, especially considering that the dogs were reportedly not exercised. AP has a story on the case as well.  The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they expect to make further arrests as the investigation continues.

One of my concerns in this case, as in many similar cases, is that the dogs were removed from an apparently neglectful situation and taken to shelters where their lot in life should be immediately improved.  But the day after the dogs were taken to area shelters, a reporter touring the Oregon Humane Society wrote:

The dogs remained in the condition they were found in, with feces matted in one brown miniature pinscher’s coat and yellow vomit staining the piebald white-and-brown coat of a Chihuahua mix.

The same article mentions the dogs’ social skills will be assessed “to determine whether they can be adopted.”  I think it’s safe to say that starving and/or sick dogs crammed into filthy cages 24/7 probably have poor social skills right now, at best.  Behavioral assessments should not be made at this time or at any time in the near future.  At the very least, the dogs need a chance to regain their physical health and have some of their social needs addressed through regular walks, bathing, play and other care before a fair evaluation can be conducted.

I hope these dogs will immediately receive the care and sheltering they need while the legal case is sorted and ultimately find loving homes.

(Thank you Clarice for sending me the links on this story.)

15 thoughts on “OR Neglect Case Involves 149 Dogs

  1. Doesn’t Oregon have ANY sort of inspection for “rescues” or “shelters”? From this article, it appears that the disasterous health and conditions of these dogs did not happen overnight, or even in the last 6 months. Perhaps inspections are necessary for these kind of institutions, which would include photographs. It appears most of these poor pooches will be euthanized, because of “budget” and “staffing” concerns which could have been prevented had inspections been done in the first place.

    1. This is just another example of shelters giving animals to anyone who will take them just so they can say they are no kill!!!!

  2. These dogs were taken from California shelters to Oregon. Unfortunately, cases such as this are going to force more regulations on rescues thereby allowing fewer dogs to be removed from dog pounds, but of course dogs need to go into a better situation, not a worse one.

  3. I viewed the photo gallery on one of the links provided in the Yes Biscuit article. Several of the cutlines below the photos stated, in part: “110 of the dogs will be held as evidence in an animal neglect case without getting medical treatment.” In another cutline, however, Oregon Humane Society Veterinarian Dr. Kris Otteman said, “These dogs need immediate medical care.”
    We now have these things called digital cameras, some with date and time stamps, as well as vet assessment rankings, to document the conditions of the seized animals. So, photograph and treat them, for godssakes! I fear what jailnurse98 fears will come to pass. The vast majority of these poor animals will be killed because their rehabilitation would be just too overwhelming for “rescue” organizations and “shelters” to undertake. And I’m sure the eventual legal judgment against the “alleged” perpetrator will amount to little more than a slap on the wrist and probation. What a tragedy!

    1. Speaking from personal experience, rescuing that many dogs is overwhelming. It is also possible. And overwhelmingly rewarding.


      189 dogs were seized. All but a few were feral. Their mental and physical condition was unimaginable. But thanks to Yellowstone County, countless local volunteers,and hundreds of adopters and fosters and donors across the US, NESR was able to place every dog, 224. Not one single dog was killed.

      So Marion County Oregon, just do it. It’s hard work but it is well worth it.

      1. I remember that English Shepherd case. It was a fantastic outcome. Cases like these tend to bring kind-hearted people out from the community. I hope these OR shelters ask for help and use all the help they are offered to save these dogs.

  4. It sounds like Alicia Inglish has/had a good heart but she just lost her mind. Her idea of getting dogs out alive from kill “shelters” was commendable, but obviously, somewhere along the line, lost her dang mind. I wonder what went wrong. She didn’t start out as intentionally harming dogs.

    There was no mention of current helping volunteers, so I’m sure she was easily overwhelmed. Instead of “officials” coming in & punishing her & killing dogs, I would prefer them to just fix the situation with help, medical care & nutrition, maybe psychiatric help too if necessary. But when “officials” are involved, people lose their financial & physical freedom; dogs/cats loose their lives.

    1. No one with a good heart neglects and starves innocent animal Those defenseless animals were in her care and treated them deplorably. I am sorry she is mentally ill or evil. I look forward to her prison sentence. I hope she enjoys dinners of stale bread. That is what she was feed the dogs in her care.

  5. Yes, I hope they put out a plea and ask for help from the community so the majority of the animals, if not all, can be saved. I’m glad it was discovered though. Dogs eating bread really doesn’t provide the nutrients they need in order to stay healthy and they need to get them the medical care they need.

  6. Laws and regulations pertaining to oversight and inspection, even basic requirements for animal care, vary widely around the country. Here in Texas, some major metro counties/cities address condtions in rescues and shelters, but there is little to none for those in outlying counties, rural areas. There is no question that here in many parts of Texas, ‘shelter’ and rescue’ have become all too often the cover name under which many hoarders and flippers hide. Small town pounds often are horrible and abusive operations, again, little to no oversight, and often extremely small budgets to operate.

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