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Animal-rights group plans protest of Forks animal shelter

November 14th, 2013 - 5:41am

(Forks)-- Animal advocates plan to protest a Forks animal sanctuary tonight.

Olympic Animal Sanctuary has become the center of controversy, with claims dogs have been kept in inhumane conditions.

Steve Markwell runs the sanctuary. According to his web site, the purpose of his sanctuary is to provide a permanent home for dogs that are not realistically adoptable due to severe behavior issues. The sanctuary houses seriously injured dogs and those that have been declared dangerous or vicious by the authorities.

But Laura Mundy with a grass-roots group known as “Protest OAS” says there are too many dogs at the sanctuary. Mundy's group says local authorities lack the will to uphold state and local laws.

Forks City Attorney, Rod Fleck, says the city has a dilemma in this situation. He says Forks doesn't require business licenses and its code doesn't set limits on the number of animals allowed. Fleck says since the sanctuary is not operated as a temporary "kennel", it technically doesn't violate city code.

“Protest OAS” will address their concerns at a Forks town meeting tonight and plan a march from Tillicum Park to the Forks Elks Lodge.

Even though the sanctuary is within the city limits of Forks, Clallam County animal control has no jurisdiction in the matter. But Sheriff Bill Benedict and Undersheriff Ron Peregrin plan to attend tonight’s meeting.

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