Photo by Eric Mathison
One of 38 dogs recovered from a Burien home, now in the care of CARES Animal Control, leans up against the groomer as it's dried after a bath. This photo was taken shortly after the raid in October.

Dog show judge linked to Burien ‘animal hoarder’ case

In October law enforcement and animal control officers raided a Burien home based on an anonymous video sent to Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal rescue organization.

The video depicted deplorable conditions for a number of dogs in poor physical health being held in “extremely dirty dog crates,” as the King County Sheriff’s Office put it.

38 dogs of Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Chin breeds were recovered from the basement and taken to Burien’s CARE animal shelter. 14 of the dogs had to be euthanized, their health too dire to be saved. An additional 62 dogs linked to the owners were recovered from an Issaquah home shortly thereafter, although their living conditions and overall health were far better than those in Burien, KCSO said.

It is now being reported by ABC Nightline that an owner of the dogs is an American Kennel Club judge who could be facing 14 counts of animal cruelty, echoing the number of dogs that had to be euthanized.

The judge, identified by ABC as Margie Hamilton, is listed on the AKC website as certified judge for the three breeds found in the Burien home.

Hamilton refused to comment on the investigation, but told ABC there is “a great deal to the story,” that hasn’t been told.

Animal cruelty charges will likely be filed against Hamilton in the coming weeks according to King County prosecutors, at which time the full story from law enforcement’s investigation will be revealed.

Burien CARES (Community Animal Resource and Education Society) has six Chins and 21 Chihuahuas recovered from the Burien raid, although none are available for adoption until the animal cruelty case runs its course (they are considered evidence), according to CARES director Debra George.

Most of the dogs are eight years old (none younger than five), and “all have sweet, loving temperaments,” according to CARES website.

Regarding their condition, CARES said “all have poor or severe dental disease, several have limited vision, and some have ear infections.” The dogs are currently living in foster homes as they rehabilitate, George said.

CARES will provide an update as soon as the dogs are available for adoption. They can be reached at (206) 812-2737 or

You can read the Highline Times earlier coverage here.

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