Animals of all shapes and sizes were seized from a Lake City animal rescue in July after allegations of animal abuse.

Missy’s Rescue, also known as Animal Talk, is a pet store/animal rescue located at 12322 Lake City Way NE. Cats, birds, rodents and lizards among other animals were taken from the business. Its proprietor, Michelle “Missy” Young, said the claims were unfounded.

“I don’t know what they were looking for,” she said. “It’s a witch hunt.”

Kendall Bailey, a Seattle Animal Control officer, received a complaint about the Lake City location on July 10, when a local resident claimed the store “smelled like death” and had unsanitary conditions for animals.

Bailey arrived the next day to inspect the location.

“I immediately smelled the strong odor of urine and feces,” Bailey wrote. “The store appeared to be cluttered and animal cages were stacked high in many areas.”

Young approached Bailey and informed the officer she had not had a chance to clean up the store yet. The posted hours for business had the store opening nearly two hours before.  Earlier this year, the State of Washington issued a warrant for $1,783.5 in unpaid taxes against Young and Animal talk.

Bailey wrote that a fellow officer gave water to several thirsty animals, observed a rat with an open sore on its head and a birdcage with stacked droppings two inches deep.

“Officer Graham and I checked on three 2-3-week-old emaciated kittens,” Bailey wrote. “The kittens appeared to be underweight and their spines could be felt by running your hand over the kittens’ backs.”

Other kittens had severe respiratory issues.  The other officer asked Young to surrender the animals to the Seattle Animal Shelter.

“There’s no truth to the claims,” Young said. “Anything they saw was already under veterinary care.”

Young told the officers she would take the animals to a vet herself. According to Bailey’s report, “[Young] has a history of taking severely sick animals to a vet only to have them euthanized or otherwise disappear.”

The officers took the sick rat for emergency help. They returned to claim several of the kittens for immediate assistance as well. By then Young had loaded the animals into her car, locked the building and drove away, Bailey claimed.

Seattle Animal Control has 10 complaints going back to 2007 regarding animal welfare at the location. 

“Almost every single investigation has had observed violations, this recent being the most severe,” Bailey wrote.

Young said the officers looked at rescued animals with congenital birth defects to make their claims, and that she has rescued thousands of animals in the 30 years she has been in business.

“I’m fighting it,” she said of the seizure of her animals. “They haven’t charged me with anything because I take care of my animals. I have a great respect for animal control.”

In the search warrant affidavit, Bailey also requested to search All Pet Veterinary Clinic, at 1222 NE 145th Street in Shoreline. That clinic is Young’s clinic of choice.

Young said the allegations are incorrect, and asks that anyone who knows her business to come with a written statement regarding her treatment of animals and leave it in a box on the business’s front desk.

Young could be face gross misdemeanor charges if the allegations are true.