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Aloha family arrested after sick animals found in house

Overpowering odors prompts stranger to notify authorities
by: Submitted photo These are four of the more than 50 sick animals found in and around a filthy Aloha home on Tuesday.

Washington County sheriff's deputies arrested three Aloha residents Tuesday night after discovering more than 50 sick animals in and around their house.

Washington County Animal Services took possession of 19 dogs and 28 cats from the house in the 2600 block of Southwest 185th Avenue in Aloha.

Deputies arrested Brenda White, 55, her husband, Nyls White, 57, and their daughter, Tessa, 24, on accusations of first- and second-degree animal neglect. They will appear in court at a later date.

Deputies responded at about 4 p.m. Tuesday to a report about a house that had numerous animals living in deplorable conditions. The caller told dispatchers he went to the house after his car broke down. Animal odors were emanating from the home, and he saw several sick animals in a very dirty house, said Sgt. David Thompson, spokesman for the sheriff's office.

Deputies went to the house, but no one was home. Smelling a foul odor coming from the house and hearing numerous dogs inside, they contacted one of the residents by telephone and asked to meet with her.

Brenda White came home and gave deputies permission to go in and examine the animals.

A deputy entered the house and said he was immediately overwhelmed by the strong odor of excrement. He reported seeing a large number of animals in the house, including dogs, cats, chickens, exotic birds and goats.

Many of the animals were sick and some close to death, Thompson said, with conditions inside the house 'extremely filthy' and not fit for animals or humans.

Deputies were told there were dead animals in the garage, but the space was so filled with garbage they were unable to search that area.

Deputies called Washington County Animal Services for assistance. They convinced Brenda White and her husband, Nyls, to voluntarily give up their rights to most of the cats and dogs.

Forty-seven dogs and cats were turned over to Animal Services and taken to the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter in Hillsboro. The goats, chickens and exotic birds were not taken because they were in good health, and most of the goats and chickens lived in the back yard.

Through the next several days, the confiscated animals will be assessed and the surviving animals will receive veterinary care. They will eventually be offered for adoption either through rescue groups or the shelter, Thompson said.

Most of the dogs and puppies were Lhasa Apso mixes, said Deborah Wood, manager of the shelter.

'Sadly, one kitten died, and two other kittens and a cat were euthanized because they were in extreme medical circumstances,' Wood added.

The animals received in-depth medical examinations throughout Wednesday. 'We are seeing a number of medical problems, such as severe skin problems in some of the dogs, wounds to some of the cats, infections in some cats and life-threatening illness to some of the kittens,' Wood said.

The shelter is committed to making sure that every animal that can be made healthy enough to become adoptable will receive the medical care it needs.

'We will treat these animals with the same care we treat our own pets,' she said.

Much of the expense for the care of the animals will come from donations to the Aurora Fund.

Here's what you can do to help:

• Donate to the Aurora Fund. This is a special fund that provides medical assistance for abused and abandoned animals. Every cent that goes into the Aurora Fund goes directly to animal care. 'We have enough money in the fund to care for these animals - but donations will allow us to care for future animals in need,' Wood said. To donate, go to www.WashingtonCountyPets.com and click on 'Donations.' Donations can also be made at the shelter or by mail.

• Donate food. 'All the hungry tummies at our shelter are fed entirely by donated food. This situation adds more animals who need to be fed,' Wood said. The shelter always needs dog, cat, kitten and puppy food.

For more information on animal adoption or donating funds to care for neglected animals, contact Washington County Animal Services, 1901 S.E. 24th Ave., Hillsboro, at 503-846-7041 or visit www.washington.or.us/pets/ .