Life Inside Olympic Animal Sanctuary

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Concerned animal lovers and ex-volunteers of Olympic Animal Sanctuary (OAS) in Forks, Wash., have come together to ask the government and the public to aid the innocent animals that are residing in this sanctuary.

The sanctuary was meant to be a facility to house dangerous dogs whose only other alternative was euthanasia, but instead they were sent to 1021 Russell Rd, Forks, Wash., for a second chance in life. However, the sanctuary’s ex-employees say the facility is not kept in sanitary conditions. According to them, there is animal waste and dust everywhere, and the few pens that do have a water dish, have it filled with contaminated/undrinkable water. Dogs live in small pens, crates or cages, and most have no access to the outside world to exercise.

The concerned animal lovers started a Facebook page called OAS – Life Inside the Sanctuary, there they have been posting pictures and police reports to document what they say is animal neglect and abuse, but so far they have not received help from the government or local authorities. What the animal lovers wants is to better the living conditions of the animals at the sanctuary. They would like OAS to close down and have the dogs there re-homed.

A dog living in Olympic Animal Sanctuary
A dog living in Olympic Animal Sanctuary

“It’s an ugly, dirty little secret that has come out,” former volunteer Pati Wynn, told reporter Jeff Burnside in a recently televised news report. “People have to be a voice for these dogs. Something has to be done, to help these dogs.”

KOMO News’ recent report tried to enter the Sanctuary, but unfortunately they were denied access. Instead, Steve Markwell, the man that runs the place, met reporter Jeff Burnside outside and briefly talked about the more than 100 dogs he cares for inside.

Burnside’s report touched on previous police investigations done on OAS. The reports talk about “an overwhelming odor of urine” and police statements where “Markwell told the officer the dogs eat every other day and are only fed unrefrigerated raw animal parts.”

Even though police documented the substandard living conditions and animal abuse these dogs endure, the written animal cruelty citations were “unissued.”

Burnside also spoke with Forks Mayor Bryon Monohon and learned the government’s hands are tied. There are no allocated funds for Forks to fight a legal battle with the sanctuary, and the city lacks local ordinances.

As there are Markwell critics, there are also many supporters that say Markwell is doing the best he can to provide these dogs with a better life. Markwell and his lawyer say the sanctuary’s critics “are engaged in a vicious campaign of defamation.”

Burnside’s report also says national animal welfare organizations like the Humane Society of the United States are trying to help Olympic Animal Sanctuary but it is not clear if Markwell will accept the help.

Read and watch the full KOMO News report to learn more.


0 thoughts on “Life Inside Olympic Animal Sanctuary”

  1. Please, Some one shut this Hell Whole DOWN, This is a HORROR in Progress, poor animals, someone do something.

  2. If the man doesn’t accept help, he needs to be booted – this treatment of dogs is cruel and should be stopped immediately.

  3. I am very disappointed that Life with Dogs is joining in this hate campaign. It is sad that these disgruntled former volunteers keep rehashing the same old story with the same staged photos. Shame on you, KOMO, and anyone else who jumps on this hate bandwagon.

    • If it’s not true then why would he not allow an interview. Why would he not allow the cameras inside the facility. How do you explain the smell coming from outside the facility?

    • Unless you have personal inside knowledge of this place what makes you think that you know what is going on there. You need to realize that the people that used to volunteer there know a lot more than you do. Oh and by the way they were volunteers not paid employees so why are they disgruntled if they don’t have a reason to be so. Unless you have proof otherwise shut up……

    • Seriously????? These dogs need someone to stand up for them and try to get them to a real shelter. Fed every other day? Unrefrigerated raw meat? And dirty (or no) water? Dogs need to eat every day. We have got to get stricter laws in this country to protect the innocent animals from abuse – and yes – what Mr. Markwell is doing with these poor dog is abuse and neglect. Shame on you “Former Reader.”

  4. Does it ever occur to anyone that the hate campaign has gone on for months and months and months simply because they are exactly that “Haters”. There are so many fanatics against this place that every single positive post has been attacked. There is simply no point in posting anything positive as the “haters” will twist it. Why does nobody seem to realise that these are “the dogs that noone wants”? They ended up here as a last resort, even if a big Group goes in to “Rescue” most will be euthanized. The Sanctuary needs support not hate, to allow these dogs to live a better life.

  5. If he doesn’t have anything to hide why won’t he let anyone in the sanctuary? I can’t believe that nothing is being done to save these animals!!! Come on local authorities DO SOMETHING!!!!!

  6. This place IS NOT a sanctuary! If these dogs cannot live a safe, peaceful & healthy life (which has yet to be determined), then there are worse things than euthanasia – LIKE BEING STARVED AND TORTURED UNTIL YOU DIE! Get real people – great dogs are put to sleep every day because there are too many dogs being bred purely for money, & not enough people to care for them. Hopefully some of these dogs will eventually be freed to find good homes, but right now they are in hell!

  7. In light of Matthew Randazzo being named as a “co-conspirator” in a lawsuit alleging that he and Steve Markwell fraudulently represented their intentions in a successful effort to extract a $50,000 donation to a controversial animal shelter in Forks, WA, you might be interested in Matthew Randazzo’s recent history – especially given his current high level job working as a “Senior Advisor” to Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. Not a bad landing for someone who hasn’t been to college and has no relevant work experience – but does have a remarkably questionable history, as outlined below.

    After trying unsuccessfully to insinuate himself with various animal welfare organizations on the Olympic Peninsula, Matthew and Melissa Randazzo (his wife) got involved with the Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center in Sequim. With Melissa taking charge of the Center’s website, this involvement mainly took the form of changing the mailing address for donations to the Center from the Center’s PO Box to their home – without the knowledge of the Center’s director, Jaye Moore. Moore estimates that a great deal of money sent to the Center found its way into the Randazzo’s pockets before she gave them the boot. Jaye Moore would be glad to verify this – and much more concerning the Randazzos – and she can be reached at 360-681-2283.

    You might also inquire into the deep dissatisfaction with Matthew Randazzo during his tenure as the head of the Clallam County Democratic Party. He caused many long-standing Democratic volunteers to leave the organization, and was accused of sabotaging campaigns of local Democratic candidates who didn’t hire him to manage their campaigns. (Candidates were also pressured to hire Melissa Randazzo to do their campaign websites, logos, etc.) There were also accusations of fairly significant amounts of petty cash being used as personal spending money by both Randazzos.

    As an addendum to the above…Randazzo owes his political “placement” to his mentors: State Rep. Steve Tharinger (D), State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D), and State Senator Jim Hargrove (D). These are the three men who installed Randazzo as head of the Clallam County Democratic Party, and these are the three men who installed him in Peter Goldmark’s office when he got squeezed out of the CCDP due to all of his problems and – to say the least – questionable behavior. Contact information for Randazzo’s enablers follows:
    Steve Tharinger/360-786-7904/[email protected]
    Kevin Van De Wege/360-786-7916/[email protected]
    Jim Hargrove/360-786-7646/[email protected]
    Peter Goldmark/360-902-1004/[email protected]

    You could also inquire into Matthew Randazzo’s being fired from the North Olympic Land Trust (located in Port Angeles) for failing to perform his job duties, as well as making the female employees there uncomfortable with his sexist language. His response was to have his mother, who is an attorney in Louisiana, threaten to sue them. Needless to say, the threat was baseless, and no legal action resulted.

    You could even check into Matthew Randazzo’s extravagant claims of being “partners” with a Hollywood producer (Dale Alexander Carnegie) to bring a book that Randazzo (supposedly) wrote to the screen. In articles in the Peninsula Daily News, Randazzo claimed his Hollywood “partner” had been a producer on the recent hit remake, Clash of the Titans (2010). A simple check of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) will show that the producer in question did not, in fact, have anything to do with that film, and has only one (extremely minor) credit to his name.

    In other words, you could check into how a trail of controversy and allegations of lying and unethical
    (if not criminal) behavior follows Matthew Randazzo wherever he goes. This being the case, one might well ask why he has been given the cushy job he holds with Washington State – especially given, as mentioned above, the fact that he has no higher education or relevant work experience. . Doing a Google search for Randazzo in the Peninsula Daily News is a good place to start. This guy is a con man, and a sociopath, and I speak from personal experience. Much of the money from the $50,000 donation was literally gobbled up by the Randazzos – they, and Markwell, loved to eat out every night, but Melissa Randazzo was the only one of the three with a real, paying job. So that $50,000 really helped them a lot, but didn’t do a damn thing for those poor dogs in Forks.


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