Reform Abusive Animal Shelter

Target: Steve Markwell

Goal: Reform an abusive animal shelter where hundreds of dogs are currently suffering

Nicknamed the “sanctuary of sorrow,” the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Washington state is believed to be a torture chamber for hundreds of rescued dogs. A local news team recently featured the Olympic Animal Sanctuary and interviewed former employees who claimed that the man who owns the organization, Steve Markwell, is starving and caging the animals. While he has received offers from major animal organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States, to help reform the sanctuary, Markwell refuses aid and will not even allow authorities inside it. Urge Steve Markwell to act in the best interests of his animals and either accept aid or shut down his abusive shelter altogether.

As it remains, authorities have tried unsuccessfully to enter the shelter to assess the situation, but allegedly do not have proper evidence to obtain a warrant. This is surprising given the many former employees of Olympic Animal Sanctuary who recently denounced the place and presented photo evidence that reveals the atrocities inside of it. Dogs are kept in tiny cages stacked on top of each other with empty water dishes. The floor is covered with dirt and excrement and most of the inhabitants are undernourished. They are given unrefrigerated raw animal parts as food every other day.

Markwell likely started this organization because he genuinely cares about animals and wished to help them. His rescues are classified as “dangerous dogs” whose only other option was to be euthanized. By creating the shelter, he did save the lives of many condemned animals, but now they suffer daily because he refuses to accept aid and refuses to give the dogs over to hands that will protect, not hurt, them. Sadly, Markwell may fear consequences more than he desires to help the victims of his abuse, and receiving help would require that he own up to the present problematic conditions of Olympic Animal Sanctuary.

Urge Steve Markwell to reform this terrible shelter immediately by accepting aid from the Humane Society of the United States, or shut it down altogether.


Dear Steve Markwell,

While the goal of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary is to give second chances to rescued dogs, it is inexcusable that you abuse them by failing to provide for their most basic needs. The animals in your shelter are starved, parched, and kept in filthy, tiny cages, living in their own excrement. This is not a second chance at life, but a living hell for these animals. Several organizations have offered to help you, but you refuse aid.

You are committing acts of cruelty by allowing dogs to live in such conditions, and I urge you to stop. Please do not let fear or personal pride stand in the way of bettering the lives of sentient creatures – you must appropriately address the problem before it becomes more severe. Either accept aid and reform this abusive organization to properly meet the needs of animals, or shut it down completely.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dineshraj Goomany via Flickr

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