Ford puppy mill owner avoids jail time

RaeLynn Ricarte

The owner of a puppy mill in Stevens County who was charged with three counts of first-degree animal cruelty, 11 counts of second-degree animal cruelty and one county of unsafe transportation has been allowed to avoid jail time if she pays a court fine and stays out of trouble.
Carolyn Clark, 76, was sentenced Sept. 3 by Superior Court Judge Jessica Reeves to a year in jail, but that time has been suspended with good behavior and payment of a $500 victim assessment within 180 days.
She was arrested in September 2018 after investigators from the Stevens County Sheriff's Office served a warrant at their 788 Wellpinit Street in Ford. A total of 89 animals were removed from inside the single wide trailer and surrounding property. Several puppies at the site were ill and later died of threadworm, which Dr. Mirian Dreewes, a local veterinarian, noted in court records as having been caused by unsanitary conditions.
Clark reportedly told authorities that she believed one of the puppies had been attacked by his mother and injured.
“As we began to organize, there was a horrid smell emanating from piles of trash and a dog food bag stashed on the property, the porta potty stationed next to the home and food left outside,” wrote Stevens County Sheriff Deputy Jessica Garza in her report about the search.
She noted that members of Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service wore HAZMAT gear into the residence to capture animals.
“The smell of ammonia was so strong that my eyes watered, the back of my throat started to sting and I had to exit to get fresh air,” stated Garza. “It is my recommendation that the entire residence be condemned."

Read more of this story in the Sept. 18, 2019 issue of the Statesman-Examiner.