As Kelly Page, of Dogs Deserve Better Washington, feared, the dog who spent nearly half of his life locked in the basement has been returned to his owners.
It was just a few weeks ago that the not-so-aptly named Lucky was freed from his basement prison, where the nine-year-old dog had spent nearly half of his life. Neighbors have been concerned for years; he's left alone to live among his own feces. For the past couple of months, with his owner out of town, his human interaction has been limited to an ex-husband who sporadically stops by to slip some kibble and a can of food through the sliding glass door. Photos show a dog living in squalor.
Yet authorities were reluctant to step in, since there are no laws in King County regarding long-term confinement. They were finally convinced to seize Lucky and conduct a cruelty investigation. After a vet exam found that Lucky may have been caked in feces had feces stuck to him, but he wasn't starved, dehydrated or visibly suffering physical pain, the King County Prosecutor's Office decided there was insufficient evidence of animal cruelty. After talking to the owners, they chalked it up to a cultural divide (the owners are Russian) and a dispute between neighbors, and Lucky was sent home.
What did the owners have to say? That Lucky is like a "family member," that he likes the basement and they clean up his feces once a month.