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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Humane Society Deposition From Doug Spink Trial, September 2013

Posted By: ZiLe Ohai - 5:23 PM

This deposition is from the trial of Doug Spink in 2013. The witness is Laura Clark, Executive Director of the Whatcom County Humane Society, and she describes some of what she saw when Spink's farm was raided.


Spink claims Ms Clark lied and was part of a conspiracy to keep him in prison.

Recent events would indicate that Douglas needs no outside help in getting himself jailed.







Laura Clark deposition transcript

SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON FOR WHATCOM COUNTY
INTERVIEW OF LAURA CLARK
—————————–
TIME: 2:30 PM
DATE TAKEN: September 23, 2013
LOCATION: 300 North Commercial Street
Bellingham, Washington
REPORTED BY: Debra L. Rietfort, CSR No. 2286
APPEARANCES
JAMES TURNER
Attorney at Law
[contact info redacted]
KIRSTEN BARRON
Attorney at Law
[contact info redacted]
MICHAEL P. BRODSKY
Attorney at Law
[contact info redacted]
INDEX OF EXAMINATION
WITNESS: Laura Clark
EXAMINATION BY: Mr. Turner
INDEX OF EXHIBITS
NUMBER IDENTIFICATION
(No exhibits marked.)


BE IT REMEMBERED that the interview of LAURA CLARK was held on Monday, September 23, 2013, at the hour of 2:30 PM at 300 North Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington, before Debra L. Rietfort, C.S.R., and Notary Public in and for the State of Washington.


WHEREUPON, the following proceedings were had and testimony given, to-wit;
–o0o–


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Okay. You know I represent Douglas Spink.
A. I do.

Q. And so if I could — first just give me a little bit about what your title is, how long you have worked for this particular agency or organization and maybe somewhat just a general idea or a biography of what led you to that shop there.
A. I’m Laura Clark. I’m the executive director of the Whatcom Humane Society. I have been in my current position approximately four years. Prior to that I worked for the organization as a director for approximately eight years. Prior to that I worked for a shelter in the San Francisco Bay area, and prior to that I worked for a variety of other agencies including a large nonprofit in the bay area as well.

Q. Okay. I also lived in San Francisco for a while. That was actually a fun period. What part of the bay area?
A. San Francisco.

Q. So you said you’re executive director now and have been for four years. And you were director for eight years or a director?
A. Yeah. I was the community outreach director.

Q. Okay. And what was your job there? It’s self-explanatory but if you could just summarize what a community outreach director was?
A. We are a small agency so that encompassed everything from development to outreach, to humane education, volunteer management and at times I was also the shelter manager.

Q. Okay. And what are your duties as executive director?
A. To operate the organization, everything from daily operations, interact with the board of directors, community members, elected officials, etc.

Q. Okay. In terms of elected officials what kind of involvement does — what’s the name of the organization?
A. Whatcom Humane Society.

Q. Okay. So there is no county in there, just Whatcom?
A. Yes. Correct.

Q. So what kind of involvement do you have with — I forget the term you used, but elected officials or with government, Whatcom County government.
A. Our agency contracts with various municipalities in the county to provide animal control services. So in those duties I interact with various elected officials.

Q. Okay. And you had a contract in 2010 with Whatcom County?
A. Correct.

Q. And do you have most of the other small jurisdictions?
A. I do.

Q. Are there any that you don’t have?
A. The city limits of Lynden.

Q. Do they have their own or —
A. They do, although we house the animals for them.

Q. Okay. Do you know if it’s like a Lynden city employee that does it or is there a humane — A. I don’t know.

Q. You don’t know. Okay. All right. And do you work with prosecutors offices?
A. Yes.

Q. Do you work with law enforcement offices?
A. Yes.

Q. Now, do you and/or the people that work for Whatcom Humane Society have law enforcement authorization as animal control officers?
A. Our animal control officers have a limited commission through the police department.

Q. Okay. Can you help explain that to me, what the limits of that commission are or what they’re authorized to do?
A. They are authorized to enforce any laws or ordinances related specifically to animals.

Q. Okay. Do they have arrest powers?
A. They do not have arrest powers. They have citation powers.

Q. I saw some article recently but basically at this point the state law doesn’t include them under the coverage of assault three versus assault four?
A. Unfortunately, no, it does not.

Q. Okay. Is that partly because they are limited commission maybe they don’t follow under that?
A. I don’t know.

Q. Okay. Now, so in your role in contracting with Whatcom County, for instance, do you consider yourself covered by the Public Records Act of Washington? I mean do you maintain records or are you supposed to maintain records in accordance with the Public Records Act?
A. We are a nonprofit agency so we don’t keep the same type of work record keeping as say a municipality or government organization.

Q. Do you maintain — in terms of e-mails do you
maintain all your e-mails?
A. No.

Q. Okay. Is there a particular choice about which ones you keep and which ones you don’t?
A. It would depend on the situation.

Q. Okay. With regard to the Doug Spink case, have you received e-mail communication from either US Probation, US Prosecutors, county probation, county law enforcement with regard to Mr. Spink?
A. Yes.

Q. Have you maintained those records?
A. Some of the records might have been maintained. Others, no.

Q. Okay. Do you have an idea here about what type of records you would not have maintained and what types you would, like what that decision criteria might have been?
A. General correspondence isn’t something I necessarily would keep.

Q. Now, there was a, as has been explained to me, a probation search of the residence where Mr. Spink was living back in April of 2010. And it’s also my understanding there were maybe it’s as many as three members of the Whatcom Humane Society who joined various members of federal law enforcement, probation, US Marshals, as part of the people who went out there for that search.
Are you familiar with that?
A. Yes, I am.

Q. And were there, in fact, persons from the Whatcom Humane Society that joined in that?
A. There were members of our animal control department who responded per the request of the United States government to assist in that situation.

Q. Now, do you know why —

MS. BARRON: I’m sorry. Are you trying to ask her the role of the humane society in that? Is that what you’re trying to get at?

MR. TURNER: I’m getting there. I just asked if they participated in some role.

MR. BRODSKY: I don’t think you’re saying they participated in the search.

THE WITNESS: No.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. They were there. They were asked to be there. Do you know which government agency, and I’ll list some, US Probation, US Marshal Service, FBI. I think that was all the people I knew that were involved from the US government. Do you know which particular branch or agency had contacted Whatcom Humane Society?
A. I believe it was US Probation but I can’t speak to that a hundred percent. I don’t remember exactly.

Q. Do you know the name Jeff Robson?
A. Yes.

Q. Have you had communication with him?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you have communication with him prior to that search?
A. I did not, no.

Q. Somebody in your office did?
A. I believe so.

Q. Do you know who the members were from the Whatcom Humane Society who went out there with the people who went out there that day?
A. I don’t recall exactly which staff members responded to that call.

Q. Do you know how many went?
A. Not off the top

Q. More than one?
A. Probably.

Q. Okay. Were there more than three working at the time as animal control officers?
A. On that day?

Q. In general, just on staff?
A. Yes.

Q. Roughly how many were on staff?
A. We have seven point five officers employed at the Whatcom Humane Society. On that day I don’t know how many were on duty. Not all that were on duty would have responded to that call.

Q. Sure. And — okay. Who decided who would go?
A. It would have been myself and the manager of the department.

Q. And who was the manager at that time?
A. Paul Evans.

Q. Does he still work there?
A. Yes.

Q. All right. And what did the US government officials, what did they state in terms of why they felt they wanted members there?
A. As I recall they requested assistance from the Whatcom Humane Society to possibly handle animals that were on the property at [location redacted].

Q. Okay. Did they share any information about whether they thought they expected to arrest Mr. Spink or anyone there at the time?
A. I don’t believe they shared that information with our staff.

Q. Okay. Have you ever been contacted by US Probation before or after this in regard to a search like this?
A. I don’t understand the question.

Q. Has US Probation ever contacted your agency to assist or to come along when they have been doing a search like this.

MS. BARRON: Like on another matter?

MR. TURNER: Yes.

THE WITNESS: You know, I don’t know off the top of my head. We are contacted constantly by law enforcement agencies for assistance with a variety of calls so it’s quite possible we have been. I don’t know off the top of my head if US Probation themselves have contacted us.

BY MR. TURNER:
Q. What about the US government in general?
A. It’s quite possible but I don’t know off the top of my head.

Q. Do you have any specific memory of, other than this case, the US government ever asking for assistance or participation?
A. We are regularly contacted by Border Patrol.

Q. Okay. All right. Other than Border Patrol?
A. We answer a lot of calls. Off the top of my head I don’t know.

Q. Okay. And do you know if Paul had contact with Jeff Robson or anyone else from US Probation about that search beforehand?
A. I believe that US Probation notified Captain Evans about the situation prior to make sure that our staff were available.

Q. Okay. And were you aware that the search had been rescheduled at one point?
A. I was not aware of that.

Q. Okay. When in relation to the timing of the search did you first become aware that Mr. Spink had been arrested?
A. Arrested for what? I don’t understand.

Q. For probation violations. He was taken into custody at the time of that search. When were you made aware that he was taken into custody?
A. Probably that day.

Q. Okay. Did they tell you why or were you told why?
A. I don’t — I’m not sure I understand your question.

Q. What was your understanding about why he was taken into custody at the first time you heard that he was taken into custody?
A. I believe it was our understanding it was some type of probation violation and there were animals on the property and we were asked to assist with the animals.

Q. And animals were taken into custody?
A. Correct.

Q. And I understand there were horses, correct?
A. There were four stallions, seven large intact male dogs and several mice.

Q. When you say intact what do you mean by that?
A. With testicles.

Q. Okay. And there were mice?
A. Correct.

Q. Did you ever see the mice?
A. I did.

Q. And what was — was there anything notable about the mice?
A. Yes.

Q. Explain?
A. When the mice arrived at the Whatcom Humane Society — prior to the mice arriving at the Whatcom Humane Society I received a call from a staff member who was assisting our animal control officers. She informed me that the mice were in poor physical condition, that they were covered in some type of fluid that appeared to be a petroleum jelly type lubricant and had strings or twine tied to their tails. When they arrived at the Whatcom Humane Society I examined them along with another member of my staff and confirmed that that was their physical condition.

Q. And when you viewed it did it appear to be something like a petroleum jelly?
A. Correct.

Q. And can you tell me anything distinctive about it such that that was the conclusion you drew? Did it have a particular odor or texture?
A. In handling the mice it felt like they were covered in Vaseline.

Q. Okay. Did anyone take samples of the lubricant?
A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. Is there anything else — I hate to ask an obvious
question. Was there fecal matter that appeared to be present?
A. I don’t recall if there were fecal — if there was fecal matter present. I do recall that some of the mice were dying and it was my decision at the request of my staff that we try and clean the lubricant off of the mice and save them, clean them, feed them, get them water, so that was what we immediately started working on.

Q. Now, it was the subject of your testimony, some of your testimony in the interpleader action.
A. Correct.

Q. You used the term felching, I believe, in that?
A. Uh-huh. Yes.

Q. That’s not the right term, is it.
A. I don’t know.

Q. What does the term felching mean as far as you know?
A. As far as I understand that term felching is a slang word used when people use small animals in bestiality.

Q. Do you know where you would have heard that term?
A. I believe the first time I heard that slang term was working in the San Francisco Bay area.

Q. Okay. In the context of animal control or humane societies or just in general society?
A. I think both.

Q. Okay. Have you ever heard the term gerbiling?
A. I have.

Q. Have you ever heard — and that’s — I always feel uncomfortable talking about stuff like this but that’s basically a term derived as I understand it from the story about Richard Gere allegedly putting the gerbils in his rectum for sexual pleasure for some reason. Does that sound like sort of what you’ve heard about this?
A. That’s in the context of the word felching. That is the description that I have heard.

Q. Okay. Have you ever heard of any documented case of that actually happening?
A. I don’t recall.

Q. Okay. Is there any conclusion that anyone reached or about why these mice had things tied to their tail or strings and had Vaseline on them or what appeared to be Vaseline?
A. I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question.

Q. Was there any conclusion drawn by you or anyone around you, law enforcement, members of your staff about why these mice had Vaseline on them, what appeared to be Vaseline?
A. I can’t speak to what law enforcement concluded. Q. Did you hear anyone theorizing?

MS. BARRON: Do you just mean like anecdotal conversations she may have heard as opposed to some agency conclusion and/or conversations.

BY MR. TURNER
Q. Absolutely. And/or conversations.
A. Sure.

Q. And is that consistent with the idea of putting them up someone’s rectum?
A. I think that was probably one of the theories. Would have just been a theory.

Q. Were there any other theories proposed?
A. I don’t recall.

Q. Okay. At the interpleader action did you testify in relation to that and maybe the theory that they had been used for something like that?
A. I believe I did.

Q. Okay. Have you done any research into that particular activity? Had you done any research prior to your testimony in the interpleader action?
A. I don’t remember.

Q. Okay. And did — what happened to those mice?
A. I euthanized them.

Q. All right. And as far as you know no samples weretaken or were the strings kept?
A. The organization, Whatcom Humane Society, kept the mice along with everything that came with them for quite some time until we were told that they were no longer needed as any type of evidence in the case.

Q. Who told you that?
A. I believe both the United States Government and the Whatcom County Sheriffs office.

Q. Did you ever have a discussion with regard to that by either of the prosecuter’s office, the US Attorneys Office or the Whatcom County Prosecutor in regards to it’s okay to euthanize them or dispense with them?
A. I had a discussion with Whatcom County Sheriffs Office about euthanizing them. I don’t believe I had that discussion with any other agency.

Q. Do you know if that was before the interpleader action or after?
A. That was — it was the day after we received the mice.

Q. Okay. Real quickly?
A. They were dying.

Q. Right. And were the dogs castrated, the seven dogs you referred to?
A. After the interpleader action was completed and the Whatcom Humane Society was given custody of the dogs they were castrated.

Q. Okay. And why?
A. We were transferring them to private rescue groups and as part of our policy we spay or neuter every animal before they leave our building if they are going to be adopted or transferred to an outside rescue organization.

Q. Okay. The dogs, you know, you kept them from the time of the search basically up until the time after the interpleader where they were?
A. Correct.

Q. All right. And when they were received they were in good physical health?
A. As far as I can recall.

Q. Okay. In the interpleader I believe in some of the documents there were pictures of the dogs. I believe these are like exhibits that were attached to the declaration you had filed?
A. Uh-huh.

Q. But these appear to be the dogs that you recall?
A. Correct.

Q. And they look basically the condition they were in in these pictures?
A. Yes.

Q. Were they a problem in terms of, I don’t know if discipline is the right word, but —

MS. BARRON: Behavior maybe.

BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Behavioral problems?
A. Yes.

Q. In what way?
A. They had significant behavior problems. A variety of problems. They were extremely strong. Very reactive. The German Shepherds were extremely reactive. Very difficult to handle.

Q. Strong, they are big powerful dogs, right? So that’s not behavioral problems, it just means because of their size it created more of a challenge, would that be fair to say? I mean being strong is not a behavioral problem in and of itself, is that a correct statement?
A. I wasn’t sure if you were asking a question.

Q. Yeah.
A. Can you repeat the question.

Q. Yes. Is being strong in and of itself a behavioral problem?
A. It’s a challenge.

Q. Okay. Thank you. And when you mean reactive what does that mean?
A. In this regard the dogs, especially the German Shepherds, were extremely reactive when they saw other dogs and some people. Some people. They would lunge, bark, growl, snarl, snap, jump, etc.

Q. Did the German Shepherds do that with the other five dogs that they had been with at the Spink residence?
A. I don’t know. They weren’t with the dogs. They were all kenneled separately while they were in our custody.

Q. Why is that?
A. Due to their size and some of their behavior.

Q. Okay.
A. It’s a safety issue.

MR. BRODSKY: I just want to clarify. That happens pretty much to every dog that comes in.

THE WITNESS: Correct.

MR. BRODSKY: It wasn’t special. Every dog has their own kennel.

THE WITNESS: Correct. Thank you.

BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Were they housed near each other?
A. I don’t recall.

Q. Would that be if you had a group of dogs that lived with each other for a significant period of time would it be necessarily normal to house them near each other for this so they would have the comfort of —
A. It would depend on how many other animals were in our custody at the time.

Q. Okay. But if you were able to would that be something you would try to do?
A. Depends on the animal.

Q. Okay. And so do you have any knowledge about these animals sort of how they did being separated? Did they show any behavioral signs of missing their pack or the other animals around?
A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. Okay. Did you have any active participation with those dogs in the kennel at the time?
A. I did. I saw each dog on a daily basis. Monitored their behavior and their care.

Q. You said the German Shepherd’s reacted and you said their strength of these big dogs was as I understand it a challenge. Were there any other behaviors you can note?
A. Not at this time.

Q. Okay. Did their coats seem to have the appropriate luster for a well fed dog?
A. I don’t recall what their coats looked like.

Q. Did you notice anything out of the ordinary that indicated that they hadn’t been properly fed in terms of right kind of food or the amount of food?
A. I don’t know what kind of food they were being fed. They seemed of decent body weight when we received them.

Q. Okay. So you noticed nothing that suggested the luster of their coat or any other factors were negative?
A. Not that I can recall.

Q. Okay. So what did happen to the dogs after the interpleader action?
A. When the interpleader was finished we neutered, as I stated earlier, all of the dogs and they were placed with private breed specific rescue groups.

Q. Do you know if those dogs are still alive?
A. I don’t have any idea where the dogs are now.

Q. Do you have records of where they were sent to?
A. I do.

Q. Okay. I have a copy that is unsigned but a letter purporting to be from David McEachran from June 15th, 2010. And which would have, I believe, been technically it would have been before the end of the interpleader action but I think maybe after it was filed. But did you ever see a copy of this letter essentially Mr. McEachran explaining that he was not going to be pursuing state charges or did you ever have any conversations with him or the prosecutor’s office?

MS. BARRON: Do you know who Ms. Reed is?

MR. TURNER: Karen Reed. I think she’s — is it Karen Reed?

THE WITNESS: I think she is a private citizen. Maybe somebody from a horse rescue.

MS. BARRON: She is not like from the US Marshal’s office or something.

MR. TURNER: No, no, no. This is somebody I think animal interested or does breeding of animals or rescue, something like that. It’s my understanding a number of people received copies of this letter explaining his decision.

THE WITNESS: I’m sorry, what’s the question?


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. The question was the letter basically is saying we are not going to charge him in state court because he’s getting three years. He’s getting a lot of time. If he gets the time we expect him to in federal court we are not going to expend our resources in prosecuting him here.

MS. BARRON: You’re talking about the sentence, if he receives a sentence from federal court I will not be prosecuting him in Whatcom County for the same offense. The penalty we achieve here would be minimal compared — did you know about this before?

THE WITNESS: I believe I — I believe I saw this letter at some point.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Okay. And is that your understanding of what was — of basically the prosecutor’s position on that case?
A. I have never had a discussion with Dave McEachran about this situation.

Q. Any other members of the prosecutor’s office?
A. I talk to members of the prosecutor’s office often so I’m sure I have discussed this case with them.

Q. Did anyone I guess other than McEachran basically explain to you that if he gets that time or after he got the three years in federal court we are not going to
prosecute him, it would be a waste of resources?
A. I don’t recall that conversation.

Q. What’s your understanding of why he’s being charged now?
A. I don’t know. I don’t work for the prosecutor’s office.

Q. Okay. All right. I thought I saw a reference that attributed to you that you were instrumental in having him charged?
A. I wish I had that kind of power in Whatcom County. I don’t work for the prosecutor’s office.

Q. But you do refer cases to them and then suggest that people be arrested or your office does?
A. Our office works closely with the prosecutor’s office on animal cruelty cases.

Q. Okay. Now, is there anything — this is — let me stick to my order here. Because I went to a seminar this weekend and it turns out I’m totally random in the way my
thoughts work.

MS. BARRON: There is a lot in this case to be random about.

Q. That is more — I have done everything trying to keep it focused and just to what you might know and be relevant otherwise I would be bouncing all over. I actually had a discussion with Pam Roche who sponsored this bill. And, you know, and I asked her, I get that it’s, you know, distasteful nature of, you know, interspecies sex, humans and animals, whatever. But in what way is this activity of a male dog having sex with a human in whatever orifice is that cruel to the male dog. Do you have an opinion about that? Do you think that it’s cruel?
A. I’m not going to share my opinion on that with you. Sex abuse is sex abuse.

Q. Okay. Now, I grew up in Tennessee in the ’60s in a rural area and I don’t know of anyone who had a neutered dog. I mean some spay female dogs but male don’t get neutered. And it was my experience that it was very common to be at somebody’s house and if you’re on the floor playing or the dog would grab your leg, but the dog would grab your leg or jump on you and hump on you, the male dogs. Do you think it’s unusual for a male dog to essentially be fairly, I guess what’s the word, do you think that’s uncommon for an un-neutered male dog to hump on people whether it’s a female dog or not or the hump which is a better way of describing that, but since I’m reverting back to my childhood, maybe other dogs, other male dogs and other animals.
A. No.

MR. BRODSKY: You know, I don’t think I have to tell a lawyer this, but nobody here including counsel is interested in having you speculate if you don’t know, if you don’t have the experience and background to know the answer to those questions.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. And the reason I’m asking you because you have been working in this field with animals for a long time and somebody who is in charge of an organization who enforces animal control and I guess the ultimate question is it seems like it’s improperly placed in the animal cruelty part in this context where it’s a male dog humping on other people. And I guess I’ll ask you. It’s my understanding the judge in the interpleader action suggested in his findings of fact that maybe these dogs needed to be put someplace because they needed retraining. That may result in an acceptably dangerous situation. Let me ask you this in terms of that. Do you know what the judge meant having testified in that trial and participated in it in terms of filing interpleader, what the judge meant when he said in the finding of fact number eighteen to place the animals as suggested by Clare Spink in an environment that is not specialized in the retraining of the animals at issue or in any environment with children or persons lacking the special training would result in unacceptably dangerous situation. Do you know what he meant by that?
A. I don’t want to speculate what the judge meant by that.

Q. Did you testify to that effect that you couldn’t just let the animals go anywhere because they might be dangerous to children or people who weren’t prepared to deal with them?
A. We did have concerns about proper placement of these animals.

Q. And what was the nature of your concern?
A. The animals as I stated earlier had some behavior problems that we were concerned about and they weren’t appropriate for any type of home. They needed to go to a specialized breed specific organization that could handle their issues.

Q. So far what I heard was that their strength created a challenge and that the German Shepherds were reactive. jumping, lunging.

MS. BARRON: Snapping, snarling,

MR. TURNER: Sure. So the other five dogs.

MS. BARRON: That’s all the dogs I think she said.

THE WITNESS: Well, the Shepherds were the worst of the dogs.

MS. BARRON: I think that’s what she said earlier.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. So was there any issue about their sexual behavior that was discussed at trial or testified to by you?
A. I believe — I don’t recall exactly, that was a long time ago, what I stated in that testimony, but neutering the dogs certainly would have helped with any sexual behavior problems they were exhibiting.

Q. Okay. And do you think these dogs were different than any other un-neutered male dog in that regard?

MS. BARRON: Are you asking, Jim, if they like, to use your words, humped more than other dogs.

THE WITNESS: Yeah.

MS. BARRON: Okay. Did you observe them hump people, not that you were around them all the
time, but did you observe them hump more than other dogs.

THE WITNESS: In our custody they weren’t given the opportunity to act in that manner.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. So the behavior issues that you would have been talking about wouldn’t have included their sexual tendencies?
A. The behavior issues that they exhibited were of concern. Neutering the dogs would have taken care of other concerns that we had based on the information that we were given about them.

Q. And did the information you were giving about them create a concern in your mind that their sexual behavior might be problematic in a new setting?
A. It did create a concern.

Q. Why?
A. Based on the information that we were given about them we were concerned that if left intact they may have exhibited behaviors that were not safe.

MS. BARRON: Or that people wouldn’t like. I’m just thinking I don’t want a dog humping me.

MR. TURNER: Try not to suggest answers, please.

MS. BARRON: Sorry. I’m so sorry.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. So what would be the problem created by the dog like expressing itself sexually on something other than a female dog? What kind of problem would that create. Why would that be a particular issue for placement?
A. I’m not sure I’m comfortable answering that question. I’m not a certified animal behaviorist. I think a behaviorist would be better suited to answer that question for you.

Q. Okay. But you were testifying about their behavior in that interpleader action?
A. I did, yes.

Q. And essentially asking the court or suggesting to the court that they need a special placement?
A. They did and I stand by that.

Q. Because of their behaviors?
A. Correct.

Q. So you obviously felt comfortable about testifying to the court about their behaviors. Did it include in that testimony the concern about the sexual behavior?
A. It did.

Q. And what was that based on?
A. As I stated to you earlier based on the information that we knew about the animals.

Q. What did you know about the animals in regard to their sexual behavior?
A. It was our understanding that they had been used in bestiality.

Q. By whom?
A. By whom did we know that information.

Q. No. That used them?
A. I don’t understand the question.

Q. By who used the animals in bestiality. You talking about Steven Clark the gentleman from Britain who took the video?
A. It was our understanding the animals had been used in bestiality.

Q. More than by Steven Clark?
A. I don’t know.

Q. From whom did you receive the information, let’s go back?
A. I believe the US Attorneys Office and the Whatcom County Sheriffs Office.

Q. Did they ever suggest knowledge or supposition that someone other than Steven Clark who appeared on these tapes in which they have Mr. Spinks had used the dogs for
bestiality?
A. I don’t recall the exact discussion I had with them.

Q. Did they ever suggest that Mr. Spinks had?
A. I don’t recall.

Q. Did you ever receive any information that led you to believe that he had?
A. I don’t recall.

Q. Did you testify to anything about anyone using the dogs for bestiality other than Steven Clark, the gentleman who was visiting from Britain?
A. Did I testify? I’m sorry, can you repeat that.

Q. In the interpleader action.
A. I’d have to look at the transcripts. My memory is not that good.

Q. Okay. Now, I was at a hearing with Caleb Hutton and I offered various bits of information I thought might be useful and he didn’t write anything down. But I saw him go talk to you and he wrote a number of pages and I believe you’re quoted in an article about the new charges being filed?
A. Uh-huh.

THE REPORTER: What was his name?

MR. TURNER: Caleb Hutton.

MS. BARRON: Is that a reporter?

MR. TURNER: For the Bellingham Herald.

MR. BRODSKY: So called.

MR. TURNER: Sort of fits with the Bellingham Herald.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. You apparently seem to have a lot to say to Mr. Hutton about the Doug Spink case and you had shown up at a hearing about the Doug Spink case. Why are you interested?
A. I’m interested in anybody whose animals we have in our custody or had in our custody. So it’s a case that our organization spent a lot of time and a lot of money helping those animals. So, yeah, I’m always interested in cases like that.

Q. Okay. Do you have any experience with or what’s involved with the breeding of horses?
A. I’m not a horse breeder nor do I have much experience in information regarding the breeding of horses.

Q. Do you think there is an appropriate distinction in issues of cruelty between sexual stimulation of animals and breeding versus sexual stimulation for purposes of human enjoyment?
A. I don’t have any idea. I don’t even understand that question.

Q. Okay. Do you think it’s cruel to put a bit in a horses mouth and reins and make them carry you around and hit them with a crop to get them to do what you want to do?
A. I think hitting them with a crop is certainly not a humane way to get a horse to do what you want them to do. In terms of bit it would depend on the situation. I’m not a horse trainer.

Q. Okay. Tigers riding horses in the circus?
A. Is that a question.

Q. Yeah.
A. Can you repeat the question.

Q. Do you believe that’s cruel?
A. I’m not a fan of circuses that involve animals.

Q. Would that be a yes?
A. I’m not understanding.

Q. Do you think that’s cruel to the horse to carry a tiger on his back in a circus?
A. I think it’s probably cruel to both the horse and the tiger.

Q. Okay. Just give me a second here. Actually this may have gone more quickly than I expected. Would you have recommended charging for the mice, someone for animal cruelty?
A. Charging what animal cruelty.

Q. Charging someone with a crime of animal cruelty for what happened to the mice?
A. I don’t know. I would have to know more evidence.

Q. Do you believe the condition they were found in would justify charges for animal cruelty.

MS. BARRON: You’re talking about this specific incident with these specific mice, not in general.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Yes. With the coating with lubricant, the tails tied.
A. Based on the condition that I received the mice in they had suffered.

Q. Okay. You know, and it appears to me they suffered more than the dogs did. Am I out to lunch on that sort of belief?
A. It depends on your definition.

Q. You indicated at least that Mr. Hutton quoted you as saying, well it may be a bit overdue. We want justice to be served for these animals. Did you not think that justice was served when Mr. Spink went to federal prison for close to three years and Mr. Clark was convicted of animal cruelty?
A. Mr. Spink as far as I know was not sent to prison for animal cruelty.

Q. Well, he was. He was. He violated probation by committing animal cruelty under Washington law. That was what the judge concluded on affidavit.
A. But he was not convicted in a state court of animal cruelty.

Q. So that was something important in terms of the animals receive justice?
A. In my opinion, yes.

Q. And you say this case boils down to good versus evil. What does that mean?
A. It means just that.

Q. So who is the good and who is the evil?
A. I think that is up to speculation depending on who’s reading the article.

Q. Well, you’re the one who said it though so I’m asking you.
A. I think animal abusers certainly are not good people.

Q. Okay.
A. Those that protect animals are.

Q. Is there a good case like castrating them was worse to the dogs than what they were allegedly engaged in with Mr. Clark?
A. I don’t believe neutering an animal is cruel in any way whatsoever.

Q. Do you think it would be to a person?
A. I don’t know. I’m not a medical doctor.

Q. If I needed to send a subpoena duces tecum how should I do that. To whom should I do that.

MS. BARRON: You send it to me. I’m kind of their corporate lawyer and Michael is helping just because he has the expertise in the criminal piece that I don’t have. But you’re welcome to send that to me.

MR. TURNER: That would be an okay process to send it directly to you instead of having to send it to Ms. Clark?

MS. BARRON: Yeah, that would be just fine.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Do you still have photos of the mice somewhere in your records?

THE WITNESS: I think you might have those.

MS. BARRON: They may be in the court file and I will review my file. I have to tell you, I don’t ever recall seeing a picture of the mice.

MR. TURNER: Okay.

MS. BARRON: They may be there. I do not recall seeing it just to be very clear. I’m just telling you.

MR. TURNER: No. I appreciate that. And I actually saw them but now I can’t seem to figure out where they are in the discovery.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. Would it be normal practice for the officers to generate reports about going to collect the animals at the residence on that day?
A. Yes.

Q. And would those reports still be maintained by them?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever submit a bill to US Probation for the cost of housing the animals?
A. I believe I did, yes.

Q. Did they pay that?
A. I don’t believe so.

Q. Okay. Did Whatcom County pursuant to contract reimburse you for maintaining them?
A. No, they did not.

Q. Would they normally do so if you are holding animals as part of evidence in a case?
A. No.

Q. You need to fix that contract. It seems like that would be a normal thing.

MS. BARRON: Where should I start.

MR. TURNER: It’s almost like impounding a car.

MS. BARRON: Well, if the owner comes to get the dog or the animals there is provisions for that but not the county. The same provisions do not apply to the county.

MR. TURNER: It’s ironic because often they would say we don’t want the owner to have them but they don’t have anyone else to pay for them.


BY MR. TURNER:
Q. I have been told that there is a summary of animal abuse case Doug Spink [location redacted] that was submitted to Whatcom County Council. Does that ring a bell?
A. I’m sorry, there was a what?

Q. There is a document entitled summary of animal abuse case Doug Spink — [location redacted] that was submitted to Whatcom County Council about June 21st of 2010.
A. I don’t recall — from my agency?

Q. That is my understanding.
A. I don’t recall that. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Q. Okay.
A. There are times I will e-mail various municipalities and update them on a high profile case if I feel that they need to know something.

Q. Would that be something you would have maintained in your records had you created such a document?
A. Possibly, but possibly not. It wasn’t part of any case file.

Q. Okay.
A. I don’t keep copies of e-mails that I send.

MR. TURNER: That’s all that I have.

MS. BARRON: Wow.

MR. TURNER: Thank you very much for coming in.
(Interview concluded 3:35 PM.)

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