County seizes dogs after complaints say animals terrorized neighborhood

LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. – Imagine being held hostage in your own neighborhood by a pack of unrestrained and unruly German shepherds.

That’s exactly what neighbors in the small, rural community near Mossyrock say has been happening for months.

On Tuesday the county took legal action against the dog’s owner and began seizing more than a dozen animals after officials say all other efforts had failed.

Neighbors hope the county can do what the dog’s owner has refused: make sure the animals have a safe home.

“I know a lot of the neighbors are going to be very relieved,” said neighbor Sue Engel. “It’s been such an ongoing problem. We didn’t know about all these problems that have been going on for quite some time.”

The dogs, according to the county, are owned by a convicted felon who lives on Birley Road.

Neighbors claim the animals have killed pets, livestock and terrified cyclists and others while they have been allowed to run wild.

“We’ve had ongoing complaints about a large pack of dogs that have become a nuisance for the neighborhood,” said Chief Dusty Breen from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. “Their behavior has been causing some on-going issues.”

A series of infractions issued to the owner by the county has done little to keep the dogs contained. The county has now filed a nuisance case against the owner and soon plans to seek a restraining order which could prevent them from owning dogs again.

“The health department and code enforcement have been diligently following up, investigating with these dogs, and with through hard work they’re able to get an abatement warrant to try to get some peace for the neighbors out here,” said Breen.

Officials say once the dogs are rounded up they’ll be inspected by vets and if they pass quarantine some could be available for adoption at a nearby shelter.

It’s could be a new beginning for a pack of dogs whose wild run of the neighborhood has finally come to an end.

“I think it is the best thing that could happen for the dogs and hopefully that they’ll be able to be rehomed,” said Engel.