Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 35-year-old Steilacoom woman with first-degree animal cruelty for allegedly starving and neglecting a dog that was found locked in a urine-soaked bathroom at her home.
The woman, Kim Olander, was arrested on a felony warrant this week after she failed to appear for a court hearing on Feb. 20. Her next appearance in Pierce County Superior Court is scheduled for March 7.
According to charging documents, a Lakewood Animal Control officer was acting on a tip when she responded to Olander’s home in the 1200 block of Stevens Street to check on the welfare of her animals last month. The officer reported that there were three dogs inside the house that appeared “bright, alert and in good weight,” but there were also two dogs that had been locked in a bathroom in which there was an overwhelming smell of urine, court documents say.
One of the dogs was a bit thin, but otherwise OK. The other dog, named Dinks, was emaciated, charging documents say. “Every bone on Dinks was prominent — including vertebrae, hips, pelvis, ribs, shoulders and skull. His face was very sunken both above and below the eyes,” the animal control officer reported in court documents.
Olander told the officer that the 7-year-old dog had been sick, but admitted she had not taken him to a veterinarian, charging documents say.
Prosecutors said the two confined dogs were removed from the home and subjected to medical exams and lab tests, which ruled out parasites and disease as the cause of Dinks’ poor health.
The veterinarian who examined Dinks concluded that he had elevated liver enzymes and anemia due to starvation, according to charging documents.
When offered food, “Dinks ate immediately and eagerly,” according to charging documents.
Within one week of proper care, the dog gained 11 pounds and appeared to be in normal condition, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said in a news release: “Animal cruelty laws were written to hold people accountable for crimes such as this. When defenseless animals are victimized, we prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent under the law.”