Domestic dispute investigation turns into multiple counts of animal cruelty

CLARKSTON, WA - The Asotin County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the 1900 block of Second Avenue in the Clarkston Heights Tuesday, for a domestic dispute.

During the investigation, deputies found multiple dogs that appeared to be in a state of neglect.

"It's a situation where he feels like he is able to take care of them but in reality the dogs were suffering," said detective Jackie Nichols.

The deputies inspected the dogs once the initial domestic violence report was handled.

"It was hard to tell initially because they are a long haired breed," said Nichols.

Fifteen dogs were removed from the residence of Markham Welch and taken to the Lewis-Clark Valley Shelter where they being evaluated.

"Nine adult dogs, one half grown pup and five puppies," said Nichols.

Welch was previously in trouble for similar charges back in 2011.

"We've had multiple complaints over the years regarding this person's ownership of the dog and of a horse previously," said Nichols.

The horse was seized back in November of 2011, and the Sheriff's Office said that the horse is happy and healthy in its new home.

Welch has been charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty. The investigation is continuing.