BONNER COUNTY, Idaho — The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) has filed charges for animal cruelty and abandonment against two people after 31 Husky-type dogs were found across some areas of North Idaho.
BCSO deputies started an investigation after multiple Husky-type dogs were found in the south and west parts of Bonner County, bordering both Kootenai County and Pend Oreille County.
Officers found 31 dogs associated with the case and filed 31 criminal counts of animal cruelty and abandonment against 45-year-old Jacob M. McCowan and 31-year-old Jessica L. Smurtwaite. Both lived in Idaho and now live near Salt Lake City, Utah.
Officers said there is still a possibility that five more dogs are still roaming in Bonner County that have not been captured.
The 31 found dogs have received medical screenings after they were found malnourished and unhealthy. The dogs are currently in the care of several North Idaho shelters, including the Better Together Animal Alliance (BTAA) shelter in Ponderay, the Kootenai Humane Society and private residences.
The BTAA Director of Storytelling, Andrea Nagel, shared she had never seen something like this.
"Whenever you see animals in that kind of condition, it's difficult."
Nagel said four dogs have recovered enough to finish healing in foster homes.
"They'll be in foster care for two weeks before they're available to adopt," Nagel shared. "A lot of our foster families have said that they might intend to keep them."
BCSO thanks all those in the community who reported and cared for the dogs. People interested in donating to the shelters or those who might be interested in adopting one of the dogs should contact the BTAA shelter at (208) 217-4453.
DOWNLOAD THE KREM SMARTPHONE APP
HOW TO ADD THE KREM+ APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KREM in the Channel Store.
Fire TV: search for "KREM" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.
To report a typo or grammatical error, please email email@example.com.