Not the first time sled kennel has been in trouble with the law

Posted By elaine on December 29, 2009

The recent confiscation of dogs and consequent arrest of a couple that run a sled dog kennel in Hartsel isn’t the first time the one of the dog owners has been in trouble with animal control officers.

Sam and Diane Walker face felony animal abuse charges

Sam and Diane Walker face felony animal abuse charges

 

 In an arrest affidavit, Park County Sheriff’s Deputies stated that they have dealt with Sam Walker, owner of Pawsatrack Racing Sled Dog Kennels over animal cruelty concerns in the past. 

 In November of 2004 and again in December of 2006 the Walkers were issues a written warning by the state “in accordance to Cruelty to Animals CRS 18-9-2-2 for Abandonment and Neglect” after officers visited the kennel and stated that there were “violations of the cruelty to animals statutes.”  What those issues were specifically were not on the affidavit.

 On April 23 2006 a sergeant responded to the kennel on a welfare check on 112 dogs. According to that deputy he “observed approximately seven Husky/Hound-mix dogs that appeared to be extremely underweight. Sam Walker advised that the thin dogs were receiving two quarts of dry dog food a day and the skinny dogs were constantly pacing.”

The same sergeant got a call from Sam Walker in July of 2007 who state that he’d lost one of his male Siberian Huskies.  The next day a dog matching the description given by Walker was found wandering on a nearby Colorado highway.  The dog was found reportedly very skinny, with bleeding paws and a collar that had to be cut off because it was so tight.  The dog was taken to a veterinarian who stated the dog was “ emaciated, dehydrated, with Dermatitis on his feet, and suffering from neglect.”  A search warrant was then issued by Park County and a welfare check was completed on the rest of the dogs.   No charges were issued and the Walkers had an up to date kennel license through the State of Colorado and they had been inspected by the Pet Animal Care Facilities Association.  The Walkers have purchased 434 dog licenses from Park County since 2004.

Sam Walker pleaded guilty to a 2002 animal neglect/cruelty charge out of Teller County. Walker has also been cited over 20 times for various animal complaints ranging from the cruelty charges to barking and un-licensed dogs in Teller County between 2002 and 2004.  Of  those complaints Walker was found guilty in 9 cases.

The Department of Agriculture says that the 2002 cruelty conviction was during the Hayman Wildfire and believed that was a contributing factor in the situation and so they took that into account when issuing a kennel license.  The Hartsel facility was inspected last February and there were no violations.

11 months later things had changed.  The Park County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Department of Agriculture siezed 100 husky type dogs from the kennel on December 16th that they say were seriously malnourished.  8 dogs were found dead.  The Walkers turned themselves into to the Park County Jail on Christmas Day and posted the 2-thousand dollar bond.   The couple will be back in court on January 4th, 2010.

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One Response to “Not the first time sled kennel has been in trouble with the law”

  1. Megan says:

    This is an outrage! I cannot understand how these people are getting away with this. The signs were there before and goodness knows how many other dogs were starved to death. My heart is heavy.

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