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Man Charged for Dumping Emaciated Puppies in the Woods

Christopher Merrick was charged with animal cruelty after he reportedly dumped nine neglected 6-month-old puppies in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord woods.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Christopher Merrick, 27, with Animal Cruelty after Merrick dumped nine severely neglected puppies in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord woods.

Merrick is set to appear for arraignment on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m. in Tacoma.

"When defenseless animals are victimized, we have a duty to respond," said Prosecutor Lindquist. "Animal cruelty laws exist to prevent this type of abuse and we will vigorously prosecute these offenses."

On Sept. 14, 2011, a Lakewood Animal Control Officer responded to the Merrick residence to perform an animal welfare check as a result of an anonymous complaint. The officer contacted the defendant who reported he had taken nine 6-month-old puppies to the Humane Society.

The officer called the Humane Society and learned that earlier in the day a man had come to drop off nine puppies as a favor for a friend. The kennel supervisor added that she did not see the puppies because when she informed the defendant of a fee for leaving the puppies, he quickly left.

When confronted by the officer, the defendant stated, “I don’t want anyone to get in trouble for animal cruelty… because the dogs looked bad.” The defendant said that he had left the puppies with an associate in Spanaway, but refused to give the associate’s name. He agreed to call the associate and contact the officer with a report on the condition of the animals.

Shortly after the officer left the residence, he was advised that two puppies were found at JBLM. Over the next two days, a local resident found the remaining seven puppies nearby and reported the matter to the Lakewood Police Department.

A veterinarian evaluated the puppies and determined that they had severe parasitic skin infections, which cause raw and hairless skin, a condition related to purposeful neglect.

The nine puppies made significant recovery within the first week of care. 

Press release issued by the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Musique February 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I'm with you Patty S! I think animal cruelty should be as harsh as it is for any living human being.
Evelina Schmauder February 06, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Christopher Merrick did a horrible thing to those puppies and deserves to be punished. "When defenseless animals are victimized, we have a duty to respond," said Prosecutor Lindquist. "Animal cruelty laws exist to prevent this type of abuse and we will vigorously prosecute these offenses." It's perfectly legal though to kill human babies in the womb. Where are our leaders with titanium spines that will stand up against human cruelty?
Christina February 06, 2013 at 11:26 PM
I understand that he did go to humane society , and could not or would not pay the fee. This fee will only encourage more of this cruelty. Sure people should offer to pay something and I know with so many people losing their homes, these innocent animals suffer such a loss. Being put down is better then starving. A shame all the way around. So many older pets and I rescued two are waiting, all ready trained and grateful family members.
Shelbi Hallstrom February 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Please people use a modicum of respect. Not every subject needs to be turned into a political debate. No one is saying you can not have and/or voice your opinion but time and place Evelina, time and place.
Patty Schumacher February 18, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Evelina was right on point. It is never untimely or out of place to point out the atrocity that is the wanton killing of human beings. I have often remarked myself that people are more likely to be outraged by animal cruelty than the killing of innocent human life.

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