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|Prosecutor(s):||Barbara Dennis, Claire Bradley|
For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.
Thursday, Nov 10, 2011County: Kitsap
Persons of Interest:
» Rosalind Bailey
» Simon Bailey
Case Updates: 3 update(s) available
Animal control officers seized more than 150 animals in what could be one of the biggest animal cruelty cases Kitsap County has seen in a decade.
Officers say the animals were neglected by their owner, and found living in dire conditions with very little food.
"They deserve better," said veterinarian Dr. Melissa Kehl with the Kitsap Humane Society. "They deserve bigger space, warm conditions, good food, good clean water. They just deserve better, and they weren't getting that."
Investigators found more than 80 rabbits, 50 to 100 birds, three miniature ponies, at least seven goats and a dozen cats and dogs. Two alpacas and two llamas were also found living on the property officers described as cluttered.
"A lot of scattered vehicles and debris, and a lot of garbage, some building materials, all sorts of things," said Jake Shapley of Kitsap Humane Society of the property.
Animal control officers said they were called to the property back in April and have visited numerous times since, including three different times in October.
"On all three of those visits, there was not enough food here to take care of animals for more than a day," Shapley said.
Because the owner failed to comply and adequately care for the animals, officers served a search warrant on Thursday, they said.
Officers are investigating an allegation that the owners let a cow starve to death, then buried it on the property. They plan to exhume the remains then perform a necropsy to determine whether the allegation is true.
Investigators from the Department of Health also responded to the home, concerned about the living conditions in which the animals were found.
"Stormwater infiltration of feces and diseases, that sort of thing," Shapley said.
But neighbors say they had no idea that so many animals lived so close by.
"I would have never thought," said neighbor Mike Solima. "It's a rural area, but I never would've thought 150 animals at all."
The Kitsap Humane Society, with the help of some foster homes, will take in all of the animals until the court decides where they should go.
|An Olalla couple who had more than 150 animals seized from their property by the Kitsap Humane Society in November may seek monetary restitution from the nonprofit organization.|
"We are hoping the other side comes out and does the right thing in this," said the couple's attorney, Paul Richmond, about the Humane Society possibly stepping forward with options for restitution. "The judge said (in a pretrial hearing) that you have civil options. We'll talk and see what our options are."
Simon Bailey and Rosalind Yorba-Bailey were accused of failing to provide proper care for the animals that were seized from their 5-acre "small scale" farm in November. On Friday, the Kitsap County prosecutor's office dropped charges of second-degree animal cruelty against the couple.
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Claire Bradley wrote in an email that her office did not believe that the county could provide proof strong enough to convict the couple in court.
"(I)n the interest of justice, we have dismissed the charges against both defendants," Bradley wrote.
Recent turmoil at the Humane Society, including the sudden departure last month of Executive Director Sean Compton and an online petition alleging mismanagement by the board of directors, contributed to the prosecutor's office decision.
"Given the current state of affairs at the Kitsap Humane Society, we are unable to meet our discovery obligations and unable to provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt at trial," Bradley wrote.
Kitsap Humane Society receives around $800,000 a year from contracts with city and county governments for animal control services. Calls and emails to the Humane Society for comment were not returned.
Rosalind Yorba-Bailey said she was "relieved" after receiving a phone call from her attorney last Friday telling her the charges had been dropped.
"I'm happy it's over," she said. "People know us and know how we treat our animals. We would never hurt them."
Though happy, Yorba-Bailey was upset at the fact that she might never again see many of the animals that were taken from their small farm. Since the Kitsap Humane Society has already adopted out many of the chickens, dogs, rabbits, alpacas and other animals she and her husband owned, she's left hoping others care for them the way she would like, she said.
Yorba-Bailey spoke of one instance involving a 7-year-old Cocker Spaniel that the couple had since it was four weeks old. She said the Humane Society wouldn't tell them who had adopted the dog.
"They won't give us any information," she said. "All I hope is she had a good home."
The couple made a portion of their income and food from the small scale-farm they had on their property, Yorba-Bailey said. She and and other family members have done small-scale farming on that property for 40 years, she said.
Since her animals were taken away, Yorba-Bailey has worked part-time as an in-home caregiver for an elderly couple. She said she is unsure if she and her husband will try restart their farm, but that it is definitely something she will consider.
Yorba-Bailey expressed anger with Kitsap Humane Society, accentuated by the organization's current state of affairs. She has read some of the online petition, and comments about KHS on other small-farming websites.
"How can people come (after) us for how we kept our animals when they keep them just like us if not worse," she said.
Both Yorba-Bailey and Richmond were impressed by the outpouring of support the Baileys received from others around the Pacific Northwest. As many as 30 supporters from all across Washington state attended the couple's pretrial hearing in January, and a website, www.justice4pnwfarmers.weebly.com, was started on their behalf. Richmond said the couple received close to 50 letters declaring their support for the family.
"I've never seen this many letters of support come in for a case," he said. "A lot of people out there were offering their support."
|Source: portorchardindependent.com - Feb 24, 2012 |
Update posted on Feb 24, 2012 - 9:40PM
|A Kitsap County courtroom turned testy on Tuesday morning during an arraignment hearing for an Olalla couple facing animal cruelty charges.|
The arraignment, typically a mundane procedural hearing when defendants enter a plea before a trial is set, quickly turned into a heated discussion involving defense attorney Paul Richmond and a prosecutor while others scheduled to be arraigned during the court session were left to wait.
Richmond, a Port Townsend attorney, is representing Simon Bailey and Rosalind G. Yorba-Bailey, who are accused of failing to provide proper care for more than 150 animals that were seized from their 5-acre farm by the Kitsap Humane Society in November.
With a dozen supporters of the Baileys watching in the courtroom, Richmond disputed every claim brought against the middle-aged couple, along with entering a not-guilty plea on their behalf.
Richmond claimed the couple had not received any sort of due process regarding the animal cruelty charges or the seizure of their animals. He said authorities had failed to notify the couple of the charges in writing, and they only heard about their arraignment hearing through documents sent to them by a concerned reporter.
"There has been an utter lack of due process here," Richmond told District Court Judge Jeffrey Jahns.
Senior deputy prosecuting attorney Barbara Dennis, who came into court midway through the hearing, was clearly upset that a simple arraignment had turned into a trial atmosphere. She said the idea that the couple had not received due process was ridiculous.
"There have been a plethora of proceedings," she said, noting that adoption and petition issues raised by Richmond are civil matters.
Among the most egregious instances of lack of due process, Richmond claimed the courts have neglected to address the couples' petition seeking return of their animals. Since the Nov. 10 seizure, the animals have been held by Kitsap Humane Society, with some of the larger animals transported to Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene.
State law allows owners of seized animals to petition for their release. According to Richmond, two petitions were filed by the Baileys for the return of their animals, on Nov. 28 and again on Dec. 28. District court records show a petition was filed Dec. 30.
Richmond said that the animals have not been returned, and some have even been put up for adoption.
"We are trying to stop this adoption," he said.
Jahns directed Richmond to write up an order to be submitted later Tuesday that would stop any further adoptions of the seized animals on the grounds that they could be considered evidence in the criminal trial. He set a hearing on the merits of the petition for the Baileys to get their animals back on Jan. 11, while a pretrial hearing on the criminal charges is scheduled for Feb. 7.
Sara Penhallegon, Center Valley Animal Rescue director, said in a telephone interview Tuesday night that some of the Olalla farm animals the center accepted from the Humane Society are in good health again, and will continue to be available for adoption.
"People think they have a right to own animals; but really it's a privilege to own an animal," Penhallegon said.
After the hearing, Richmond said the Humane Society was overstepping its bounds, and noted "The agricultural community is really banding around the Baileys. This is a case animal rights activists should get involved with."
Charles T. Kirkham came from Edmonds to give his moral support to the couple. He said he became friends with the Baileys after buying two pigs for roast.
"I'm very emotional about this issue," he said. "They weren't mean to their animals once. They showed nothing but love and care."
Kirkham agreed with Richmond that the Humane Society had greatly overstepped their legal bounds, saying the organization showed little thought about people who raise animals for food.
"The lady in charge had a personal agenda against people raising animals for food," he said. "You want to eat vegetables, that's fine. But don't tell me you can't raise them (animals) for food."
|Source: portorchardindependent.com - Jan 6, 2012|
Update posted on Jan 6, 2012 - 8:53PM
|The Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office has charged an Olalla couple who kept 180 animals in allegedly unsuitable conditions with second-degree animal cruelty.|
Simon and Rosalind Bailey, whose animals were seized by the Kitsap Humane Society in November, are scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 13.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Claire Bradley said the decision to charge the couple was made after reviewing documents submitted by Kitsap Humane Society animal welfare officers. The couple received repeated warnings from the Humane Society, Bradley said, but failed to improve the living conditions of the animals.
"Generally, there has been a lot of background (by the Humane Society) to get them to comply," she said.
Second-degree animal cruelty is a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
Bradley said the case is similar to most animal cruelty cases that come through the prosecutor's office, with the only difference being the large number of animals seized from the Olalla property.
In an interview with the Port Orchard Independent in November, Simon Bailey denied that any of his animals were in imminent danger from the conditions they were housed in. Though the couple's 5-acre property was cluttered with junk, he maintained that none of the 180 animals kept on their property was neglected.
State law allows for the Baileys to petition District Court to have the animals returned, but Bradley did not know of any petition submitted by the couple. She said they could be awaiting the outcome of the case before they try to get the animals back.
|Source: portorchardindependent.com - Dec 29, 2011|
Update posted on Dec 29, 2011 - 3:53PM
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