WENATCHEE — The owner of the four dogs that reportedly attacked a Wenatchee woman as she jogged up No. 2 Canyon has been arrested.
Timothy Dale Houston, 62, of Waterville, was booked Thursday into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on suspicion of owning a dog which attacks a human causing serious injury — a felony.
The woman sustained severe injuries, including to her ear, and required at least 60 stitches, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Friday in Chelan County Superior Court. She had bite wounds all over her body and was treated for rabies exposure as a precaution.
She declined an interview.
Houston got off work the morning of Jan. 23 and drove up No. 2 Canyon to sleep, according to the affidavit, written by Chelan County sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Long. He parked in a dirt turnout, let the dogs out to relieve themselves and then fell asleep as the dogs roamed.
The affidavit says Houston heard screaming and woke to see the dogs had the woman on the ground outside his car and were attacking her. He got out, put the dogs in the car and drove the woman to Central Washington Hospital’s emergency room.
The woman asked Houston to stay until her family arrived, but he left with the dogs, the affidavit says. Following an anonymous tip that evening, officers found his vehicle parked at Walmart, where he worked, but no one was inside.
According to the affidavit, officers went to a home near Badger Mountain on Jan. 28 and spoke with Houston’s niece and nephew, who said the three “meanest” dogs were locked in a motorhome on the property. They said Houston had taken the dogs there Jan. 24 and was going to kill them.
They told the officers Houston might have parked to sleep near American Behavioral Health Systems Parkside, 1230 Monitor St., Wenatchee, and the officers found him there with one dog, according to the affidavit. He agreed to retrieve the three other dogs and take them to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.
“Tim stated the dogs were dangerous and he did not want them anymore,” Long wrote in the affidavit.
He also surrendered the fourth dog.
The affidavit says Houston was arrested Thursday in the Walmart parking lot.
Humane Society Executive Director Dawn Davies initially said the dogs would be placed under a 10-day quarantine because there was no record that they were current on vaccinations. However, she said Friday that Animal Care and Control were notified the day after the attack that the woman was already being treated for rabies exposure as a precaution.
Three of the dogs, which appeared to be mastiff mixes, were then euthanized within 48 hours because of aggression, Davies said. The fourth, a Doberman, completed its quarantine.
Davies said she had been limited on what information she could release while charges were pending and officers were working to locate the dogs’ owner.
The owner wants to get the Doberman back but would have to appeal the determination that the dog is dangerous, Davies said.
“If the judge denies the appeal, the owner would be required to pay an annual fee, keep the dog in a six-sided kennel and (carry a) $2.5 million insurance policy,” she said. “His only other option would be to surrender the dog. Any dog that is deemed dangerous is not adoptable and would be humanely euthanized.”