Animal News

Tacoma man arrested, faces 75 animal cruelty related charges

Elmer Givens Jr. was booked into the Pierce County jail as part of an animal cruelty investigation. Givens is facing 75 charges related to animal cruelty.

TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma man was arrested after authorities seized more than 20 more dogs from his property.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Elmer Givens Jr. was arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail Wednesday evening.

Prosecutors charged the 41-year-old with one count of animal fighting, 58 counts of first-degree animal cruelty and 16 counts of second-degree animal cruelty. The charges stem from two previous search warrants over the past years and dozens of animals seized from Givens’ property on the 900 block of Portland Ave.

Givens on Thursday appeared in Pierce County court, where a judge set his trial for April 22.

Deputies found 23 dogs on Wednesday. One of the dogs is receiving emergency medical treatment. Pierce County Animal Control went to Givens’ property Wednesday after the charges were filed.

“When the charges were filed yesterday, it immediately hit all the community groups what he’d been doing, and that started to spread like wildfire on social media, which is why animal control decided to go out there last night,” said Sgt. Darren Moss, Jr., of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. “They weren’t gonna go out there last night, but they had to jump on it because the community feels so strongly about this case.”

Authorities removed 84 dogs from Givens’ property in previous animal cruelty cases, bringing the total to 107 dogs.

Givens had previously been accused of running a dog-fighting ring in December 2019. Dozens of more dogs were removed from his property in October 2020 over suspicions of animal cruelty. Those dogs have since been placed in new homes.

Animal advocate Melenie MacGregor said the community has been concerned about the animals.

“I just want justice to be served. My biggest concern, my biggest fear, and it’s the concern of everyone who supports the animals, is that as long as he is out and able, he will have more dogs and more dogs will suffer. He’s proved that three times, so our biggest concern is making sure no more animals suffer.”