Supporters of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, WA share hot drinks in the driveway on December 15, 2013. One of the supporters who later asked not to be identified said she’s out here because “I believe in his golden heart and good intentions with these dogs. I believe he has an unbelievable gift and he’s pursuing that. And I support him.”
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.
As a volunteer in a vet’s office she said she’s met Steve regularly when he visits a couple days a week. The dogs do not accompany him. She is here today because she felt the protesters were getting out of hand over the weekend and reported they ripped supporting signs down from a coffee shop. “They tore them up and stomped on them in a mud puddle.”
The anonymous woman who supports Steve Markwell said she feels like she was attacked on a social media page for making a comment and had received a threatening voice mail this morning that came from an unknown caller. “I heard that you stand with OAS. Well, I know your address.”
No one from the fours cars humming in the driveway were seen entering the building though owner Steve Markwell spent about an hour inside in the morning. “I see this man crumbling.” she said. “This is so much pressure to put him under for a job that nobody else is willing to do.”