Saga of Bucoda Dog Sparks Petition for Investigation


An online petition demanding a full investigation into an allegedly abused dog named Wolfy in Bucoda has gained national attention, garnering over 15,000 signatures online.

The local dog was well known for wandering the streets, and according to the petition, Wolfy was allegedly put down after allegations of cruelty surfaced and subsequently spread via social media.

The dog, which was missing fur on half its body, struggled to walk and was supposedly covered in parasites and feces, according to the person who originally posted the photographs to Facebook.

The petition asks for a full investigation into the owner of the dog, citing animal cruelty as the main driving factor. Purple Heart Rescue, located in Chehalis, stated on its Facebook page that an attorney “is actively and aggressively researching all options.”

Bucoda Mayor Alan Carr said a person had come into city hall to report the condition of the dog, but was told the city did not have the authority to tell another person how to manage their property.

Carr said the animal control officer, who would typically look into this situation, was out of the office for three days due to a family emergency, and so the town was unable to investigate the dog any further at that time.

That’s when Carr said the owner of the dog turned Wolfy over to someone else and said the animal had died.

He said a necropsy, or an autopsy on an animal, was to be performed by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office to determine how exactly the animal died, despite reports that claimed the animal had been shot.

An official in the records department of the sheriff’s office stated the case was no longer in their hands, and said the case had been turned over to the county’s Animal Services department.

The case was not assigned to anyone at the sheriff’s office, although a case number was attributed to the investigation. The official said it was not being treated as an animal abuse case, but did confirm the dog was put down by a firearm.

“My understanding is it was because he was either old or injured, or old and injured,” she said.

She stated Animal Services will look into the possibility of animal abuse during the necropsy. Animal Services officials were unable to comment on Monday because the office was closed.

Carr stated no prior allegations of abuse had ever surfaced in regards to Wolfy, and no one had ever reported the dog before, other than one incident where city hall received a call that a lion was loose in Bucoda.

That “lion” turned out to be Wolfy, who had lost most of his hair aside from the mane-like remnant around his head, shoulders and neck.

He said the city had no knowledge of the dog being abused and that the dog was a normal sight in town, having been in the area for six to eight years.

“We saw the dog almost every day. You’d see him walking the streets,” Carr said. “He never went out of city limits and he never bothered anyone.”

He said with limited resources, the town did the best it could to look into the issue before the dog died.

Carr explained animal services in Bucoda is a resource low on the list of priorities since it is expensive and does not generate enough calls. The city has looked into alternative options, such as entering a contract with Thurston County Animal Control, but so far nothing has materialized.

“Unfortunately today it all boils down to money and everyone has limited resources,” Carr said, stating the city in no way condones animal abuse.

The mayor said dogs are not supposed to wander throughout town like Wolfy did, but in a small community with limited resources, some dogs were left alone.

“If it’s an aggressive dog or it bothers people we would do something about it and if we catch a dog wandering the streets, we notify the people,” he said. “Generally if it’s not an aggressive dog and people don’t complain, with such limited resources, we don’t have the time.”

Comments on the petition varied from angry to confused.

Colleen O’Connor said someone should have been involved sooner to help Wolfy.

“I can’t understand why something wasn’t done sooner to intervene and take this dog away from his neglectful owner,” she wrote. “The owner surely deserved to be charged for keeping his dog in such terrible condition and for shooting him.”

Others stated on social media the dog was simply old, not abused.

One person who was familiar with the dog said that she knew Wolfy all of his life. She said that he was a gentle, kind dog who was very spoiled and well known in town.

She also said the dog would lose his hair in the summer, but it would always grow back in time for winter.

The town of Bucoda has a community meeting scheduled for today at 7 p.m. at the City Hall to discuss Bucoda’s needs, direction and public safety. The meeting was in part spurred by Wolfy’s death.