'Saddened and outraged': Pierce County shelter caring for dozens of animals seized in dog-fighting case

Shelter workers are still trying to find homes for some of the dogs seized from a Tacoma man's home in October of last year. Now, they're caring for 23 more dogs from the same property. 

Elmer James Givens Jr., 41, was arrested last week and booked into the Pierce County Jail after 23 more dogs were removed from his property. He's facing 75 charges of animal cruelty and animal fighting. 

One of the dogs rescued from Elmer Givens' property in Tacoma (Photo courtesy Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County)

It's the third time authorities have seized dogs from Givens' home. 

In December 2019, Givens faced Pierce County officials after 48 neglected dogs were seized from his property. Investigators at the time found evidence of dog-fighting and breeding, including medications, syringes, first-aid supplies and training tools.

RELATED: Why it took over a year to charge Pierce County man in sprawling animal cruelty, dog-fighting case

The first batch of dogs sent to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County "shook us to our core," shelter workers said. 

When 36 more dogs were seized in October 2020 and brought to the same shelter, "we couldn't believe it had happened again."

Elmer Givens (Q13 News photo)

"Today, 4 months later, 23 additional dogs will arrive at the shelter for a total of 107 from the same property. If you include the puppies born in our care by one of the pregnant adults in October, the total comes to 115 dogs," the shelter said on its Facebook page

Another dog seized from Elmer Givens' home in March 2021 (Photo courtesy Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County)

"Caring and finding homes for the first 92 dogs took incredible effort and dedication from our staff ... In fact, we still have 3 adult dogs from the October batch, who are spending time in foster homes while we continue our search for interested adopters," the shelter said. 

The latest group of dogs will be up for adoption in coming weeks, the shelter said, but in the meantime the staff is left with caring for a sudden spike in animals at an already full shelter. 

"It breaks our hearts to hear more innocent dogs have been mistreated and neglected, but we are glad that these dogs are now safe in our care," the shelter said. 

Another dog seized from Elmer Givens' home in March 2021 (Photo courtesy Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County)

Applications for the seized dog adoptions will be posted on the shelter's website when they are ready. Potential adopters will have to undergo a background check and possibly a visit to their home. 

You can learn more and donate to the shelter here

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