A Note Regarding Olympic Animal Sanctuary and “Exposes”

In light of some of the comments regarding Olympic Animal Sanctuary, I think a point of clarification is in order:  I turn down stories “exposing” animal organizations, including pet killing facilities, all the time.  I use the same standards to evaluate all potential stories – a combination of evidence, my personal level of confidence regarding the information provided by the accuser and the accused, along with other factors.  What gets posted on this blog is my opinion of facts as they are presented.  I am not a journalist but a blogger and I consider my work to be an opinion based form of citizen journalism.  If you are looking for something else, there’s the door.

Based upon the available evidence against OAS, which amounts to some photos posted on a Facebook page by an unknown person, I normally would not consider covering this story at this time.  It’s a non-story, in my opinion.  The main reason I requested a response from OAS owner Steve Markwell was not because I thought the photos warranted an investigation by me, but out of fairness to OAS and to readers, many of whom have contributed to OAS in the past after reading about Steve’s good work here.  If any significant new evidence emerges, for or against OAS, I will share that.  Unless and until that occurs, I do not intend to cover the issue further.  As always, I encourage readers to form their own opinions based on the available information and how it resonates with you.

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  1. I wish there was as much integrity among journalists as you demonstrate on your blog.

  2. I respect your position.. but I still want to know “The rest of the story” as it unfolds..

  3. Eugene Myers

     /  April 12, 2013

    Ok well let me give you a story. I am in contact with the aspca as well as the governor’s office and plan to have the attorney general investigate this situation. so I have seen the pictures and they were taken by a trainer that was on site to help. So if you were to read your post and investigate before you made that statement then you would know better. If you are going to blog then check further into the story. You really did not expect the owner to be honest if he is breaking the law. Be Real! I have the freedom of speech and I intend to use it.

    • Let us know if you hear of any new evidence emerging in the case Eugene.

      • Eugene Myers

         /  April 12, 2013

        Well I have done my research and I have found that he is well liked there and that he does not allow media in the actual place where these dogs are kept. I am working on getting someone to go there and investigate it. Someone that is not involved. I do not run a rescue or anything like that but the pictures that I have seen are disgusting. No animal should have to live in those conditions.

      • mikken

         /  April 12, 2013

        Well…given the documented nature of these dogs (feral, aggressive, etc.), I could certainly see Steve not wanting to allow outsiders into his facility simply because of the liability issue.

        But I cannot understand why he does not simply provide a video walk-through for those concerned about the dogs who wish to support him, but need reassurance. It may be that his lawyer has advised against it for some reason. It may be that he is too private a person for that to be a comfortable thing for him. It may be another reason. I don’t know.

  4. Mary Lundberg

     /  April 13, 2013

    Is there a reason he has not shown current video of how his place is now? I cannot believe that you write a blog purporting to care about animals – used him as a source- promoted his place and directed people to give donations.. and have not even posted something showing it is anything other than has been presented from the photos being circulated. Why is suffering ok in a sanctuary- yet not ok in a shelter? Is a dog’s life worth more in one place than the other? Sanctuary- shelter- rescue-puppy mill whatever.. it should not matter.

    • Suffering is not ok. I never said that. I can not post something I don’t have and it’s not my responsibility to produce it either.

      So many people who feel certain there is something nefarious going on at OAS inexplicably feel it’s appropriate to berate me. Well I am here. I’ve got my name on my blog. I’ve said I’ll keep an open mind if new evidence emerges. I’m not going anywhere. Can the same be said for the anonymous FB page that is prompting all this?

    • Marc Sayer

       /  May 6, 2013

      Any video he would provide would be discounted by his detractors as staged, or unrepresentative of the “real” conditions there. Heck there is an article by someone who went there with 2 independent trainers, on short notice (so he had very little time to pretty the place up much). They seemed pretty fair to me and did say the place needed improvement. But they did not feel that he needed to be shut down. That report is being dismissed by his detractors for no valid reason that I can see other than that it doesn’t support their views.There is also the report from the police that there was no sign of abuse or mistreatment,and that only 1 dog looked underfed (most rescues with far fewer animals on site have at least one “bag o bones” that either just came in, is sick, or simply isn’t putting on weight fast enough). Again they have simply dismissed or ignored this. If they will not accept these, why would they accept anything that he himself provided? Instead they make allusions to some unspecified ongoing investigations, or to the investigation by some DC based group that the group refuses to make their investigation public. I am not taking OAS’ part in this, I do not know the facts and have not been there myself to see first hand (I only trust my own eyes when it comes to something this important). I am just saying that there would be absolutely no point to OAS providing any evidence or any sort as it would all be discounted as self serving by their detractors and not would not answer anybody’s doubts.

  5. Janet

     /  September 14, 2013

    I would love to be invited to see the area where the dogs are located. I would take pictures, video and become a advocate, volunteer and donate money to help Steve’s cause, if what he says is true. A picture is worth a thousand words.



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