A sign sits across the street of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, WA on December 9, 2013. It is unclear who left it but it sat next to other signs which read: “Reserved 4 Westboro Baptist Church.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center WBC is an extremist group whose “theology is “Primitive Baptist,” a doctrine that holds that God chooses a few elect humans to save, but will send everybody else to hell.”
Owner Steve Markwell Markwell has been under fire for neglecting the dogs after volunteers filed a complaint in 2012. The City of Forks police department investigated and found horrific conditions but said legally they were unable to do anything about it. Markwell claims he has 125 dogs inside and believes he is their last hope. Many of the dogs were turned over to him by rescues and shelters who deemed them dangerous. Mounting evidence of animal cruelty has prompted many of them to ask for their dogs back. Markwell refuses and only lets a few trusted volunteers enter the premises.