Dogs reportedly moved from Forks animal sanctuary; on the road, owner says

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS –– Steve Markwell said this morning that he has loaded the dogs from his Olympic Animal Sanctuary into a semi trailer and is driving them to “get help.”

In a telephone interview with the Peninsula Daily News, Markwell said he had loaded the 124 remaining dogs from his sanctuary into cages he built inside a 53-foot trailer and left early this morning (Saturday).

He said the dogs were safe and warm and had been fed and given water before he left.

Markwell would not say where he was taking the dogs or what his route is.

“I’ve had so many threats. I just need to get them somewhere they will be safe, and I can’t risk somebody getting in the way of that,” Markwell said.

Animal activists opposed to the sanctuary have been protesting outside the pink warehouse at 1021 Russell Road for most of this month.

Forks Police Sgt. Mike Rowley confirmed that at 10:30 a.m. the dogs appeared to be gone from the warehouse building.

Rowley went to investigate reports called in to police that some of the dogs were missing.

There was no noise after he banged on the door, Rowley reported.

“There was absolutely no sound at all,” he said.

Rowley said officers do not have cause to enter the building.

“There’s no crime if he basically decided to move his business somewhere else,” Rowley said.

Rowley said Forks police have no reason to alert the Washington State Patrol or any other authorities along routes out of Forks.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 21. 2013 12:07PM
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