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Charges filed in dog abandonment case

| January 25, 2023 9:22 AM

Bonner County Sheriff's Office is filing 31 criminal counts of animal cruelty and abandonment against two former Bonner County residents.

Charges were filed Wednesday morning against Jacob M. McCowan, 45, and Jessica L. Smurtwaite, 31. Both have left Idaho and are now residing near Salt Lake City, Utah.

The charges stem from the abandonment of large numbers of "Husky"-type dogs in the southwestern part of Bonner County, bordering both Kootenai County and Pend Oreille County.

To date, BCSO officials have identified and documented 31 dogs associated with this case. There is a possibility of five or more dogs seen roaming in these areas that have not been captured.

All of the 31 documented dogs have received medical screenings and appear malnourished or in poor general health. The dogs are currently in shelter at Better Together Animal Alliance in Ponderay, at the Kootenai Humane Society or at private residences.

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