Workers speak about Squaw Valley animal rescue

June 23, 2013 12:00:19 AM PDT
Local shelter and rescue workers are stepping forward about their troubling experience with a Squaw Valley woman accused of neglecting dozens of animals.

The investigation in Fresno and Monterey counties are still open. The 61 animals taken from Crystal Kisicki's property in Squaw Valley are still being examined by a veterinarian. It is still unclear just how sick the rescued animals are, but what's coming into focus is the level of mistreatment other agencies claim Kisicki inflicted on them.

Christina Chandler runs Ruffles Rescue. She said Kisicki contacted her for help with some puppies last year.

"I drove up to her place in Squaw Valley, which I've come to find out is very rare," Chandler said. "She doesn't invite a lot of people up there. And what I found was horrendous. Dogs were tied to trees, it was dirty."

Chandler said she reported the disturbing conditions to the Central California SPCA, but nothing was done. The CCSPCA says it is reviewing its files to see if complaints were made at that time.

A few months ago, Action News was told Kisicki went to the Selma Animal Shelter and rescued several dogs that were about to be put down. Investigators say during a check-up the dogs were found to be thin and Kisicki followed a request to have them checked by a vet.

Melody Overholser said "I'm so sick with myself for not going on my gut and not checking out her rescue."

So how do you know if you're adopting properly treated animals? The president of Animal Compassion Team said to check out the rescue yourself.

"It's really being able to put your hands on the puppies and get to know them, go out to the rescue organization," Brenda Mitchell said. "Get a relationship with them, ask questions."

The SPCA in Monterey County filed its investigation with the District Attorney's Office there, asking for dozens of felony counts to be filed against Kisicki.

In Fresno humane officers are still trying to determine if more animals need to be rescued. The CCSPCA is also asking for help because of the influx of new animals.


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