Dog ‘Freed’ From Chain Went On To Terrible Ordeal But Finally Found A Loving Home

Many animal lovers know chaining a dog is not a way to treat a dog. Our hearts go out to dogs in these circumstances. Take the video below. It shows a dog named Alex being freed from a chain by a man named Steve Markwell. After watching the video below, you would think that Alex went on to a better life. But it would appear that was not the case. Far from it.

In fact, Alex was freed only to end up sequestered in a crate, said animal activists, and kept locked up for two years in the Olympic Animal Sanctuary (OAS) in Forks, Washington. The rescue would come under intense scrutiny by animal activists and was nicknamed “sanctuary of sorrow”. News outlets began to report that the dogs at the OAS shelter were experiencing severe neglect and abuse.


A photo of Alex was taken by a Forks Police Officer at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary.

It’s hard to believe such a thing could happen at the hands of someone who publicized that he was an animal rescuer. But Alex was just one of over 100 dogs that protesters said were being maltreated at the shelter.

As protesters gathered outside the facility, Markwell surprised many by driving to Arizona just before Christmas in 2013 and relinquishing the dogs to other rescues, mainly to a group called Guardians of Rescue.

Surviving dogs were sent to animal rescues and foster homes across the country for rehabilitation and adoption, where possible. Alex was adopted by Ron Smith. Smith recreated a video of Alex on a chain to show how Alex reacted on a chain around him and this is what he filmed.

What happened to Markwell?  He is currently under investigation by the State of Washington for violating charity statutes and faces a lawsuit from the Washington State Attorney General’s office for failing to register his non-profit dog kennel and not accounting for more than $300,000 in donations. He went to jail for a short term in August 2014, not for alleged animal abuse, but rather for damaging a car of a protester.

But more importantly – take a look at Alex now!


Alex a year after his release from Olympic Animal Sanctuary. Photo credit: Ron Smith/Facebook

Alex recently celebrated his first anniversary at his new home. Smith says Alex has come a long way since being freed. But he still “suffers from the mental trauma he endured at OAS.

“He is doing better all the time but I still see the ghosts of his OAS past appear, when he gets scared and cries for no reason,” Smith writes on Facebook.

The physical effects of his incarceration linger too. Alex’s back legs “are slightly bowed” and his spine is “curved a little more than normal” most likely caused from laying inside a crate for so long.


Alex celebrating a joyous Christmas in 2014. Photo credit: Ron Smith/Facebook

One thing is for certain now, Alex has a brighter future to look forward to. He has found love, care and happiness with his new family!

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