The man accused of dumping emaciated puppies in the woods near Joint Base Lewis-McChord failed to appear in court on Friday, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Authorities are looking for Christopher Merrick who’s charged with animal cruelty.
When the puppies were discovered, their ribs were protruding, their paws were swollen and some were bleeding from open sores. Merrick’s mother, Lori Merrick, told KOMO-TV that after their dog gave birth to a litter of nine puppies, her son had attempted to drop off the unwanted animals at the Tacoma Humane Society. According to court documents, Merrick decided not to leave the dogs when he found out there was a substantial fee.
Lori Merrick said her son gave the puppies to an acquaintance, who said he would find homes for them.
Officials at the Tacoma Humane Society said they work with owners who can’t afford the fee, to help prevent animals from being abandoned.
One of the puppies died, but the others are doing well in new homes.