SW Washington Couple Each Charged With Eight Counts of Animal Cruelty

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A Vancouver couple appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on allegations that they starved and neglected several animals, including dogs, cats, reptiles and a chinchilla.

Candace T. Kennedy, 26, and Mikel E. Bollinger, 36, are each charged with one count of first-degree animal cruelty and seven counts of second-degree animal cruelty. They are scheduled to be arraigned May 31 and June 1, respectively. Both were placed on supervised release and ordered not to have any pets while their cases are pending, court records show.

Clark County Animal Control began investigating the couple in March. Investigators determined the couple had five dogs, one of which was euthanized, three cats, rabbits, hamsters and other animals in their apartment at 301 N.E. 45th St., according to a probable cause affidavit. Animal control officers seized the animals.

The animal control manager said the one dog was euthanized because of symptoms of starvation. Photos of the other dogs showed their bones protruding, and they were also suffering from starvation, court records state.

Vancouver police Detective Jake Carlow responded to the apartment Thursday and wrote in the affidavit that he observed "extremely unfit living conditions," with trash, dirty dishes, and a strong odor of urine and feces. He wrote that all of the animals were in cages, and "the smell was unbearable."

During interviews with police, Kennedy and Bollinger both allegedly admitted they were the animals' caretakers, and Kennedy agreed she could improve on how she cares for her animals. Kennedy allegedly told officers the dog was euthanized because it suffered from seizures, but the animal control manager said medical records showed the dog was likely euthanized because of starvation, court records state.