Yelm Police Department

Yelm Police Department

Two tenants at a Yelm apartment complex were cited for first-degree animal cruelty after officers with the Yelm Police Department found a blue heeler dog in squalid conditions within the unit.

Police estimate the dog was left within a kennel with little to no food, water or time outside for at least 10 days.

Officers were called out to Tustin Apartment Homes, located at 10520 Creek Street Southeast, at about 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30, to reports of an animal complaint.

According to police reports, a maintenance employee told officers that multiple residents reported to him that a dog had been barking for the past 10 days in an abandoned unit in one of the buildings.

He told police he had attempted to enter the unit after noticing a note had gone untouched for multiple days, but was overwhelmed by the stench and amount of garbage stacked throughout the unit.

Yelm police entered the residence with animal control and noted that the apartment was filled with garbage everywhere, according to police reports. The stench was putrid and overwhelming, and multiple fly strips that hung from the ceiling were filled with dead flies, according to police.

Police confirmed nobody was living in the apartment.

According to police reports, officers found the dog in a small metal crate with no food or water. The floor of the crate was filled with fungus-covered dog feces and hair that the dog appeared to be shedding.

Police estimated the dog was a blue heeler, though no age could be determined because it was so malnourished. The animal was emaciated, with bones showing through its skin.

The officers provided the dog with water and took it outside to relieve itself. Yelm animal control then took the dog into custody.

An officer who provided a narrative for the police case noted that this was one of the most disgusting homes he’s seen in his 25 years of service.

Estevan Rodriguez, 26, and Danielle Sanders, 25, both of Yelm, were both charged with first-degree animal cruelty.

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