This is a day I have ONLY dreamed about!!! KOMO 4 has finally broken from the pack & actual done a real true story about the abuse at the Everett Animal Control & Shelter! I never thought I would see the day. Does this mean I can watch KOMO local news instead of the BBC to get the truth in reporting???? WOO HOO!! I have put the shelters lies in bold red & bolded in the people who have shared their horror stories or know what is really going on down there. Please click the link below to find the full story & comments though.
EVERETT, Wash. — The Ellis family did everything possible to save a dog they believe was severely abused.
But the family just learned the dog they had hoped to adopt was put down.
The Ellis family found the dog, named Blaze, while looking at property in Sultan.
“He was nothing but skin and bones,” said Leigh Ellis.
Randy Ellis says, when I picked him up, I couldn’t believe…how light he was,” said Randy Ellis, crying. “He didn’t weigh anything.”
After just five days in the Ellis home, he was already looking much better. The family took Blaze to a veterinarian whose records indicate the dog was emaciated and suffering from a staph infection that could have stemmed from starvation or poor nutrition.
The case was reported to animal control, and an officer took Blaze to the Everett shelter while animal control investigated suspected cruelty by its owner.
The Ellis family said they made clear to all parties involved, especially those at the animal shelter, that they wanted to adopt Blaze.
“He was this cute little dog,” Randy Ellis said. “Very lovable.”
Then last month, Blaze’s owner gave up all rights to the dog and said the Ellis family should adopt him.
But the shelter put down Blaze the very next day without ever contacting the Ellises.
“Unfortunately, the dog was so ill that they deemed that he couldn’t make a good pet for somebody in their home,” said Everett spokeswoman Steffani Lillie. Lillie added Blaze was suffering from cancer and an open cancerous sore that extended 8 to 10 inches wide.
But there is no mention of cancer or open tumors in the shelter’s own reports otained by KOMO News late Wednesday. Instead the vet noted, “Blaze is bright and alert, stands readily and walks with a quick pace.”
When confronted with this information, Lillie did not budge. However, she also did not provide any additional information.
“It is what has been told to me, and I will stand by that, by my medical staff,” she said.
As for the Ellis family, in spite of repeated calls to animal control, they were never told Blaze’s previous owner had wanted to turn his rights to the dog over to them. They also never heard from the animal control agent, and never received any updates in the case.
And when they finally got a hold of the shelter, it was too late.
“So I called the shelter yesterday, and they tell me that they put the dog down,” Randy Ellis said.
KOMO News has asked the shelter for any proof that shows Blaze had an open cancerous sore, or any other reason that supports their decision to put him down. The shelter has not provided any such information.
As the proud owner (or would that be owned by) a rescue dog – this story DISGUSTS me. Animals catch so few breaks as it is. It sure sounds to be that if Blaze had some massive open wound, the first vet that saw him before he went to shelter would have noted that in the medical records. And just because Blaze had cancer, certainly didn’t mean that the Ellis’ weren’t willing to pay for appropriate treatment – cancer is not a death sentence for a dog.
However, letting animal control in Snohomish County and the Everett Animal Shelter getting involved in the rescue? Why yes – that definitely appears to be the death sentence for a pet.
But, if you’re a supporter of the shelter please do not pull your support – instead demand the true records be released, or the resignation of the director of the Everett animal shelter.
Hopefully you do not ‘own’ any little furry critters of your own, with an attitude like that!!!
Some, but not all, employees who work in animal shelters develop a hard-core/callus exterior from seeing so many sad and pathetic cases stemming from uncaring animal owners. But, there should be some preventative measures to keep something like this from happening. Why were these people’s request to adopt this dog completely ignored by this agency????
Judging from the Everett Shelter’s spokesperson, she certainly seemed to be COVERING FOR HER EMPLOYEES. Under the presenting evidence, this is not not not acceptable. I will be closely watching for all follow-up stories relating to this matter. I only hope they are learning from their mistakes.
Steffani Lillie is a moron.
She can stand by her medial staffs’ story after they are collectively fired and waiting at the unemployment line.
“When confronted with this information, Lillie did not budge. However, she also did not provide any additional information.
“It is what has been told to me, and I will stand by that, by my medical staff,” she said.”
Steffani Lillie is the epitome of what is wrong with our government.
“As a public servant even when faced with a hard copy of the truth, i will look you in the eye and tell you a bold faced lie.
Shoulds like we got ourselfs a shelter troll here.
Its obvious they F’d up. They need to pull their big boy/girl pants up and admit it instead of cowardly hiding behind lies.
So let me get this straight. The Ellis family finds the dog that is in serious need of medical attention? They obviously don’t want to pay the medical expense for the dog’s treatment? So they take it to the shelter where other peoples funds can be used to treat the animal? They tell everyone that they want the dog, but don’t want to pay for it’s treatment?
The doctors then examine the dog and see that the expense to help the dog far exceeds their finacial ability, and that amount of funds may save three other dogs. They make the decision to put the dog down and save it from it’s pain.
The next day the Ellis Family shows up, assuming that the expense to treat the dog has been completed? Now they want to step up and adopt the dog?
Really……Come On…you found the dog, you wanted the dog, then pay for the treatment of the dog………..don’t depend on others to save the dog so you can adopt. Take responsibility.
Yes I did….this is a one sided story from the Ellis family, so yes you have to read between the lines of their story. I spend way to much time in the court rooms listening to these types of stories. You then have to see the story for what it is, so that you know where to go look for the truth.
At any point through the Ellis story, they could have opened their checkbook and had the dog treated and it would have been theirs. The story doesn’t say anything about the dog being chipped to provide a legal owner. The dog went from a Vet to a shelter, the only reason for this is there was no financial resources available at the vet to cover the cost of care. It was then sent to the shelter, and again the Ellis family could have opened their checkbook and became the foster parents. Decission is made by shelter to what should happen to the dog, and the Ellis family feels they weren’t told. Yes they weren’t told because they didn’t want finaical responsibility of the dog, so their names were never attached to the dog.
The story that KOMO printed is BS, It’s one sided and was done with malice and to cause controversy and harm to the shelters. This has certainly presented shelters as dog killers, and turned the public against them and caused them financial harm in their ability to generate donations for the survival of all animals that do survive the system.
KOMO should take the fall for printing this one sided story playing on people’s emotions and attachment to animals. They completely failed at reporting an informative story that is responsible.
The worst part is the truth to this story will never be published by KOMO, as it will only make them look worse in the portion they did send to print.
This is just sad that people lash out at the shelters with only one side. It is sad that KOMO only published the emotional attachment side of the story to sale papers and generate hits on their site.
They did open their checkbook. I found this blog on line with more details to the story written by Mr. Ellis. Scroll half way down the page to find Mr. Ellis’ comment. I believe Mr. Ellis is not the person ranting (I presume that is the blog creator). His comment starts below “Dog Murdered….”
Further, it appears that Mr. Ellis followed shelter adoption procedure in his attempts to adopt Blaze.
$250 that was spent on the check up and chip, is certainly a long ways from the $2,000 cost of treating the dog for the Staph Infection as noted in the aritcle, but not noted in Mr Ellis blog.
Again I look forward to seeing the other side of the story, as Mr Ellis blog and the story published by KOMO have some conflicting information and time lines.
Mr Ellis does state that he spent $250, but he has yet told the full story of what the Vet told him.
If KOMO did not accurately portray the facts or present a proper time line that certainly is not Mr. Ellis’ fault. The article is written poorly in that some paragraphs have led readers to believe the vet called Animal Control. That is not the case. Mr. Ellis called to report animal abuse once the chip determined who the dogs owner was. The dog was then removed and brought to the shelter by the Snohomish Sheriff’s Office even though Mr. Ellis wanted to remain in possession of the dog and continue treating it at his expense. He was told by the responding officer that by law the dog needed to go to the shelter as its owner had been located and the alleged abuse was to be investigated. Further, it seems that the dog was on medication that Mr. Ellis bought and that the Animal Shelter was using said medication. The cost of the medication would be roughly in the $30 range give or take the size of the dog and the medication used. How you came up with $2000 is beyond me. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that the $250+ covered the vet well check, the medication and whatever else the vet the Ellis’ took Blaze to covered the emergency medical treatment.
Regardless, your comments are laden with speculation, perhaps even defamation of the Ellis’. I do not know them, I have not seen the police report that he filed. You insinuate in your comments that you are an attorney. I find that interesting as I would not be posting comments with outright speculation, particularly since it took me less than one minute to find the entirety of what Mr. Ellis wrote.
Everett is well known for euthanizing dogs. They don’t accept any bully breed regardless of age or temperment, they imediately put down all bully breeds.
Perhaps Mr Ellis wanted to catch the person who did this cruel act which is why it was reported. If Blaze was found in an empty home, the owner is at fault and can be charged.
Also, Everett will NOT perform expensive vet treatment on any dog. So the bill you are referring to doesn’t exist.
I look forward to hearing the rest of the story on this situation, as there is no legal obligation by the shelter to the Ellis family.
It is sad this happened, but due to the lack of finanical resources to the Shelters and the lack of those willing to volunteer or contribute these are the decissions that shelters have to make.
Maybe I spend to much time in the court rooms and can look through stories for the truth. This is one side of the story that is presented by the Ellis Family, with the added emotional side.
The fact is, they took it to a veterinarian and the dog was not treated by the veterinarian. Which clearly shows the Ellis family didn’t want to take financial responsibility. The dog was then transfered to the shelter, and I’m sure the Ellis family stated they would adopt it once it was healthy. Obviouly once again they didn’t take financial responsibility, therefore their names are not assinged to the dog. It is then the responsibiity of the shelter to make the decission on what to do with the dog from an investment into it’s medical condition and the ability to find it a home.
The Ellis’s name is NOT assigned to the dog as they are not the owner or are they taking finanical responsibility.
You state that the veterinarian did not treat the dog, which therefore (somehow) proves they refused to take financial responsibility for the dog. Pure speculation on your part, and speculation is not proof nor it is fact. It could just as easily have been that the vet did not treat the dog other than the $250 that the Eliis’ paid because there was nothing to treat.
Everett has a long history of putting down animals that people are trying to adopt, and then after the fact saying”we made a mistake”. Yes, we need the WHOLE story – including vet & shelter records.
Seems pretty odd that 4 days after they initially examined Blaze and found “…Blaze is bright and alert, stands readily and walks with a quick pace…” that he suddenly developed cancer. Either the shelter is lying in an attemp to cover their negligence, their vet is an incompetent idiot – or both.
It’sa sad that the only one who will likely ever have to pay the price for the Everett shelter’s misdeeds is Blaze.
Steffani Lillie is a moron.
She can stand by her medial staffs’ story after they are collectively fired and waiting at the unemployment line.
I read this and have to wonder why the Ellis family missed this “8-10 inch sore”, if it even existed. Having had dogs for over 60 years, and having had enough of them get sores – and even cancer – I have always noticed even the smallest wound or area with an unnatural growth…
Plus, it takes more than a cursory glance to diagnose cancer…usually xrays and biopsies are needed.
FYI- I AM CURRENTLY A VOLUNTEER AT THE STATE (hi) SHELTER AND IT DOESN’T EVEN C EVEOME CLOSE TO WHAT WE HAVE AT THE EVERETT SHELTER. .
I’M SURE THIS POOR SOUL WAS IN PAIN .THANK YOU EAS FOR PUTTING HIM OUT OF PAIN.
MANY POOR SOULS ARE WAITING FOR THE REST OF YOU!
BTW…….wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to decide if an animal had to be put down.? …………….Rescues get there pets from the shelters, …….they pick and choose which pets they want, but what if they don’t get chosen?…. What if you don’t get picked at a shelter???????????????????/
Well I’ll tell you what happens……….the shelter hunts for a rescue, and hunts. They keep ;the fellow (pet) until they find a match or a rescue, sometime it takes some time.
Then the rescue gets to say, ” We are a no kill shelter.” ………..and I say awwww yes after you pick and choose what pets you would like to have.”
What Happens to the fellows you don’t pick???
Well we keep looking for a shelter, even if its a pit bull shelter out of the county, or state.
YES,,…. I…………. WAS A VOLUNTEER AT THE EVERETT ANIMAL SHELTER AND I KNOW HOW HARD WE WORKED TO KEEP ANIMALS OUT OF DANGER AND IN HOMES.
The sad thing is, that even if there was cancer the Ellis family should have been given the option to see the dog through the remainder of its life. Some of us have rescued for the very short end of an animal’s life and do this knowing they are on borrowed time.
The shelter screwed up and deprived this dog the chance of a loving ending after having to suffer on its own.
Unfortunately this is not a unique situation with Everett Animal Shelter. In the late 70’s my dog was impounded at the shelter. I went down to the shelter, saw my dog, she was a healthy St. Bernard, and verified she was my dog and gave my contact information. They told me she had been in the shelter 5 days and would be put up for adoption the next day. I was told it would cost me $50 to have her released to me. I didn’t get the money till after the shelter closed on the day I went to see my dog so I started calling first thing in the morning to tell the shelter I would be down soon with the money. I was put through to a supervisor who informed that my dog had been put down due to poor health!!!! I told her I seen my dog the day before and she was in perfect condition~ this lady held to her story too.
So senseless, to euthanize a healthy dog, (probably due to the fact she needed her own kennel because she was so large) and knowing the owner had claimed the dog and was returning that day to take her out of the shelter. The saddest part was as I was leaving her that day she let out a mournful howl that brought shivers down my spine….I believe she knew this was the last time we would see each other. It’s amazing to hear that they are still allowed to randomly put dogs down, and then bemoan the fact that so many animals are euthanized each year as “unwanted animals”.
The sad thing is you do not get this high level of compassion for children that are murdered in the womb (aborted) because like this little dog the owner did not want them. But who knows maybe the children if given the chance to live could possibly be the next president of the USA or develop some lifesaving medicine or… What about the horrible procedures that places like Planned Parenthood use in late term abortions (do some research before yo give me TD’s – it’s gruesome!)
Dogs or people – seems clear here who is the favored species…
How many of you dog crazies cared about this child??!!
Why not stay on topic?
And for your information, foreign adoptions are being placed on “hold” becase of many factors both here & abroad – so adopting this baby would probably not be a bealistic option at this point in time.
My best fried & her husband went through trying to get a foreign adoption – even took out a second mortgage on their housde to pay for it. They went through a months long sreening process, had the home visit, everything – only to be told that because noth of them work full time, they are not considered “suitable” parents. Apparently, only those who have enough money to not have to work for a living were considered to be “good” parents.
This is not a surprise. Everett is known for euthanizing for space. Even though the brand new kennel built with taxpayer money is half empty.
I volunteer in the rescue world and Everett does not make attempt to find new homes for their animals. Search on Facebook for shelters. See how many have pages that are used daily to market their animals. How do you sell a product? You market it. Why are pets any different? Let the public know what types of animals you have. Kitsap is always posting about their animals, having events at the shelter, etc and boasting high adoption rates.
If you find an animal that you do not want to keep, please contact a local rescue or a no kill shelter. There are many, not just PAWS, NOAH, etc. There are plenty of people that will help you find a foster home and adopt the dog out. If you find a dog that isn’t well cared for, and you want to keep it, just keep it. I found a beautiful husky on the rez years ago, starving, filthy. She obviously left where she was. I’ve had her since and no she does not escape my yard. Be the miracle.
That’s why when I found a dog wandering I kept it in my garage until I found a foster home. It was Aug and I had a feeeling its owners were on vacation. I went to Everett (my first time there) and was told they would adopt it out after 72 hours. I said it’s summer and she is a purebred Aussie she is someone’s dog (she had a collar but no one was calling me back). I did not feel comfortable leaving her there, took her home and started looking for someone to foster her. I have 4 dogs I can’t foster. After I drove from Stanwood to Tukwila and back the next day the owner finally called. The number on the tag was a landline. I drove back to Tukwila to pick her up and brought her to her neighbor’s house. If you ever find an animal do not take it to Everett. Try Skagit Humane or start asking rescues to help.
So sad about your friend’s dog.
the dog was removed from their care. This dog apparently didn’t need to die and by the sound of things there should be a serious investigation of this shelter. I realize they can get hardened by seeing so much neglect and abuse but
if they can’t do the right thing by these animals then perhaps they shouldn’t be working at a shelter anymore.
The medical information I’m going to provide to you was also provided to the media yesterday prior to the airing of this story.
Blaze came into the Everett Animal Shelter on March 1st. His condition at the time he arrived was dire; he was emaciated, dehydrated, unable to walk, extensive skin infections, staph infection throughout his body, incontinent and had a large open, infected, cancerous tumor encompassing his rectal/anus cavity.
During the time Blaze was under our care he became re-hydrated, fed regularly, medicated regularly and monitored by the staff caring for him. It is a natural transformation of any animal in his condition to become more alert and responsive as his body receives nourishment and liquids, however this doesn’t negate the fact that he had extensive medical problems, up to and including cancer, as listed in the medical records provided to the media by the animal shelter. Blaze was suffering from many different medical complications, to list some of the most serious, Cushing’s disease, bladder-renal infection, staph infections, starvation and neoplasia (cancer).
The Everett Animal Shelter carefully evaluated Blaze’s condition at the time he was released to the shelter and took into consideration the following diagnostic facts as provided by the shelter veterinarian; emaciated, alopecia, erthema, hyperpigmentation, lameness, inflammation/infection, lichenification, arthritis, dermatitis, otitis externa, pyoderma, sebborhea and most importantly Cushing’s Disease, bladder-renal infection, starvation and neoplasia (cancer).
It would be inhumane, unethical and cruel for the Everett Animal Shelter to place a dog in such medical duress up for adoption. To knowingly put this dog into a home with chronic infection, incontinence, Cushing’s disease and most importantly cancer accompanied with an open, infected and oozing tumor that had overtaken his entire rectal cavity is bottom line cruelty. To address Blaze’s pain and suffering by humanely putting him to rest was the best most humane and peaceful act anyone could have done for him. To aid in the prolonging of his suffering is inexcusable.
We certainly empathize with the Ellis family in their desire to provide a forever home for Blaze, had he not been in pain and suffering from the effects of cancer and open tumors we undoubtedly would have made him available for adoption.
Why didn’t the vet the Ellis family took Blaze to report all of this? Any time I take my 4 dogs to the vet a thermometer goes into their rectum. Surely the first vet had done this and would have seen the “most importantly cancer accompanied with an open, infected and oozing tumor that had overtaken his entire rectal cavity is bottom line cruelty.”
I call BS!! Once again EAS looks like Memphis AS which it a house of horrors. I cannot believe my tax dollars are suporting you! It’s time we in Snohomish county stand up and protest!
Sorry, my comment was deleted by accident when I was refreshing the page. I will cut and paste so others can see what I said. Thank you for responding and identifying yourself.
“If KOMO did not accurately portray the facts then the Everett Animal Shelter should hold a press conference and release the facts to the media, not just KOMO. Clearly this story has many quite upset. Posting anonymously on a forum will not change that. If you are indeed with the EAS then you should have said who you are by name!
All my animals (two rabbits and two cats) were rescues and our vet thought on many occasion they were on their last four legs so to speak. We have an exceptional vet and he has been stunned at how our animals bounced back. We only ever had to put one down and that is after we rescued her freezing, flea infested dog bitten and 3 lb little self from the snow; she had been with us for 8 years before she became very ill with a kidney condition that was terminal and could no longer be treated. They all have been very ill at one time or another, but not one suffered. We happily paid thousands between all of them and they went on to live happy long lives that exceeded their typical respective life spans. My rescued black Siamese just turned 17 and she is currently being given insulin shots daily. We could have put her down and not have been bothered with caring for her, but chose to fight for her as long as she fights for herself and is happy. Can you prove Blaze was suffering or did someone make a unilateral decision when the Ellis’ would have happily cared for him?”
So to clarify: The Ellises DID take Blaze to their vet initially and paid more than $200 to have him examined and treated. At the vet’s they discovered Blaze had a microchip – and that the dog’s owner was also the owner of the property where they found him. The Ellises then called animal control because there had been another dog barking inside that house and they were concerned for his welfare.
When animal control investigated, the agent insisted that she had to take Blaze, which would be standard protocol in any cruelty or neglect investigation. That’s how he got to the shelter.
When the Ellises went the next day to visit, they tell me that they were told they could not see Blaze, he was being kept in a separate area. But they were on record as wanting to adopt him and it’s written in Blaze’s shelter paperwork. Hope that clears up any misconceptions about what happened.
Thanks Tracy. I hope you investigate more into what goes on at Everett. It is supported by our tax dollars and the public has a right to know why dogs/cats are put down at an alarming rate.
Too bad Winograd did not investigate the way he did with King County https://www.kingcounty.gov/council/news/2008/Marc…