TACOMA, Wash. - A Pierce County judge handed down tighter release conditions Tuesday for a Tacoma man accused in dozens of animal cruelty cases.
Elmer Givens Jr. is not allowed to use social media, websites, or other sources to promote dog breeding. Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said any current social media posts or websites of Givens promoting breeding are to be taken down immediately.
Givens, 41, is currently facing 75 charges for animal cruelty and animal fighting. The 23 dogs rescued from his property earlier in March are up for adoption. 107 dogs total have been seized from Givens’ property over the past 14 months.
The latest group of 23 dogs have been nursing back to health at the Humane Society-Tacoma and Pierce County. This includes Cheshire, a female believed to be two-years-old.
"She has this really big smile whenever you go in to get her out of her kennel. She smiles at everyone. So, we need her Cheshire like the car from Alice in Wonderland," said Emily Mattison, dog services lead for the humane society. "All the dogs actually have been really friendly and sociable and we haven’t had any behavior problems with any of these dogs."
Dogs like Cheshire have had a tough upbringing. To ensure a positive future, the humane society is requiring background checks and closely reviewing each adoption application. Mattison said a smile like Cheshire’s deserves a happily ever after.
"She’s a very loving, very affectionate dog. She comes in my office pretty regularly and we have some snuggle sessions. She loves her ball as you can see. She loves treats. But she’s just a really nice really sweet dog. She’s going to be an amazing pet for someone," said Mattison.
The humane society said the dogs are fully vaccinated, dewormed, and fixed. Adoption applications are available online.
Animal advocate Melenie MacGregor has been a voice for the dogs since Givens’ first court hearing in 2019.
"This case can kind of set a precedent for cases in the future. This is one small cog in the wheel and I feel like if we shine a light on what we can and speak about what we can, it will shine light on a bigger picture," said MacGregor.
She said the fight to protect animals is ongoing, but at least for this latest group of dogs, she is relieved they will soon have a better life.
"I get really emotional thinking about it because it was horrifying where they were and now knowing they’re going to be in happy, loving homes and be given a chance to live the live that they deserve to live is huge," said MacGregor.
The advocate said there are options for people in the community to support animals, including volunteering and donating to local shelters or writing to elected officials.
"For everybody that’s furious about this, that’s angry about this that’s sickened over it—take that energy and use it in positive, productive ways that help the animals," said MacGregor.
Givens has maintained his innocence since the cases against him began. In January of 2021, he requested to get his dogs back, but a judge said Givens could not prove to keep the animals safe.
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