Case Snapshot
Case ID: 15500
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Defense(s): Peyman Younesi
Judge(s): Bruce Spanner

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

County: Benton

Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Ella Stewart

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

More than 400 dogs were seized from a Kennewick home Wednesday. This started about two weeks ago when Ella Stewart was arrested for second degree animal cruelty after Benton County Deputies found all of the dogs.

The dogs were found on property on the 500 block of East 27th Avenue in Kennewick. They're American Eskimo dogs of all ages, even some newborns.

Monday, the dogs are being taken out one by one and checked by veterinarians. Last week we reported that there were around 300 dogs, but now, deputies are estimating there are at least 400. This whole case started earlier this month when Deputies searched the property and saw the dogs in what they call "deplorable living conditions." They say the dogs belong to Stewart, who was arrested on one charge of second degree animal cruelty about 2 weeks ago, and is not in custody right now.

Monday was the first time the Sheriff's Department and animal rescue organizations could coordinate resources. Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor says the dogs' conditions are not good. He explains, "The medical condition of the dogs, all will require some level of medical attention, some extensive treatment. All dogs will also require extensive cleansing."

Inga Gibson, State Director of the Human Society of the U.S., says the property is disgusting. She says, "They're all kept in unacceptable conditions, shopping carts and just about every nook and cranny on the property."

The dogs will be kept at the Benton County Fairgrounds until further notice.

Stewart's next court date is June 10. There's no word yet on additional charges she will face.

There is a big need for local veterinarian's to donate their time. If you want to donate: Call the Sheriff's Office at 735-6555 ext: 5. If you want to donate money directly to the dogs for food and care, you can send a check to the Sheriff's Office. Make it out to: Benton Co. Treasurer.

Case Updates

A dog breeder was sentenced today to 90 in jail for keeping her American Eskimo dogs in deplorable conditions at her east Kennewick home. She's also not allowed to own animals for the next five years.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner agreed to let Ella Stewart, 67, spend the time on work crew. She also was ordered to pay numerous standard court fines, including $2,500 to Benton County Animal Control.

She pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree animal cruelty, a felony, and nine counts of second-degree animal cruelty, gross misdemeanors.

Stewart had several supporters who spoke on her behalf.

Stewart said she loved the dogs and they were her children but things just got out of control. She said she did the best she could.

After the sentencing, Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor said he was appalled that Stewart never once apologized or showed remorse for the condition the dogs had been left in.

Stewart, who runs Sun Valley Kennel, previously had denied allegations that she did not properly care for her dogs and was set to stand trial at the end of the month.

Stewart was jailed briefly in May 2009 after a Benton County sheriff’s deputy discovered hundreds of the white dogs with matted hair living in makeshift pens and covered in feces and urine.

Later that month, the sheriff’s office, with help from the Humane Society of the United States, seized 371 dogs, ranging in age from newborn to late teens, from Stewart’s property.

She gave up rights on the pups, and the dogs were sent to dozens of shelters and rescue organizations across the Pacific Northwest for adoption.

The felony charge is for five dogs that had to be euthanized after being rescued. Their health problems ranged from an infected uterus and kidney infections to a ruptured eye and brain injury, court documents said.

Each of the gross misdemeanor charges was for a specific dog, but the case covered all of the neglected dogs taken from Stewart.
Source: TriCity Herald - Aug 12, 2010
Update posted on Aug 24, 2010 - 2:07PM 
The question of competency is no longer a factor in the Ella Stewart case. Stewart faces multiple charges of animal cruelty after sheriff's deputies found almost 400 dogs living in what they called 'deplorable' conditions.

Stewart's attorney says a new test by Eastern State Hospital shows his client is competent to stand trial.

Stewart's next court date is scheduled for the June 24th.
Source: - Jun 17, 2010
Update posted on Jun 17, 2010 - 10:27PM 


  • KNDO - May 27, 2009

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