Pierce County Animal Control officers removed 78 animals, including horses and dogs, on Thursday from an Eatonville-area home that reportedly had feces 2 feet deep in some areas.
Officers executed a search warrant at the property, in the 8700 block of 330th Street East, at 9:30 a.m. They removed 16 miniature horses, two large horses, three goats, 51 dogs, a guinea pig, three cats and a duck, Animal Services manager Tim Anderson said.
Officers have been monitoring animals at the property, which is about 9 miles north of Eatonville, for more than a year. Four related women ages 28 to 82 live there, Anderson said.
Some of the horses are very thin, but Anderson said the main concern was the mud and feces the animals were living in. The smell from the property reached the road, he said.
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Anderson said conditions at the house were by far the worst he had encountered in nearly nine years with Animal Control. He said officers had to use respirators while working there.
A two-car detached garage served as a barn for the miniature horses; it also contained vehicles and a trailer. The other animals used the house, Anderson said.
Officers said they’ve seen miniature horses in the house during their monitoring work.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who oversees Animal Services and is not related to Tim Anderson, was at the seizure along with the state veterinarian. Tacoma Animal Control and Kitsap Animal Control were there to help. Pierce County Sheriff deputies also were on the scene, and a representative from Pierce County Human Services was called to the property.
Neighbors have complained to Pierce County about unhealthy conditions on the property for years. Animal Control officers went to the property in the May 2009 and removed animals with the owners’ permission.