Photo courtesy of the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County

Photo courtesy of the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County

Woman charged with animal cruelty after 5 dogs found living in ‘unsanitary’ Federal Way trailer

The dogs, ranging from 5 months to 8 years old, were rescued in September.

A woman has been charged with animal cruelty after several neglected dogs were found living in an unsanitary Federal Way trailer last month.

Joshilynn Wolff, 27 of Renton, was charged with three counts of first-degree animal cruelty and one count of second-degree animal cruelty in King County Superior Court on Oct. 7.

Her arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.

At about 4:40 p.m. Sept. 17, Federal Way Police and an animal control officer responded to the 1100 block of S. 306th Street for reports of a dispute between three German shepherds, according to charging documents. The 911 callers said the large dogs were off leash and looked malnourished.

When they were able to capture the dogs, the first dog — an 8-year-old female named Luka — was “so thin [the officer] could feel every bone in and on the dog’s body,” and the dog cried in pain when lifted into the animal control truck, documents state. The second dog — a 5-year-old male named Phoenix — was also extremely thin and had fecal matter on his fur coat, documents state.

Witnesses said a man, who was later determined to be Wolff’s boyfriend, was chasing the dogs in the street. The first dog, Luka, were seen drinking from a puddle until it was empty and then continued to drink from another puddle nearby.

Another witness offered a second dog a water bowl which he refilled three times. Both instances indicate the dogs were “deprived of water for an unreasonably extended period of time,” documents state.

Both dogs were transported the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County where veterinarians said they were in poor health as a result of neglect and malnutrition, according to the charging documents.

The following day, Phoenix suffered a seizure and was minimally responsive due to owner neglect and starvation, a Tacoma Humane Society veterinarian told police.

Officers identified Wolff as the dogs’ owner living in a small trailer along 11th Avenue South and attempted to examine the third dog, but Wolff allegedly refused.

A woman who frequently walks the area near the trailer told police that she has heard dogs crying inside the trailer or pawing at the trailer from inside since June, along with a “foul odor” of urine and feces coming from the trailer.

Police served a search warrant for the trailer on Sept. 22 and found three more dogs in Wolff’s care, two of which were in “poor health,” documents state.

A puppy and a 2-year-old female, both German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mixes, were rescued from the trailer. The puppy, named Cinder, had deformed paws likely due to being confined in a small crate, documents state. She was significantly underweight with muscle wasting, and enamel erosion on her teeth. The 2-year-old dog, Athena, was underweight and had a slight fever, among other ailments.

A 1-year-old French bulldog named Kalypso was the healthiest of the five dogs with a yeast infection in both ears and a mild teeth infection.

All five dogs were found malnourished, dehydrated, and acted fearful upon arriving at the shelter, the Mirror previously reported.

Inside the trailer, police found “inadequate living conditions for dogs,” including strong odors of excrement, bedding with fecal matter, and urine pooled in a dog crate, charging document state.

Wolff also has a pending charge of second-degree animal cruelty for nine emaciated dogs taken from her and her boyfriend’s vehicle in February 2020. She was also previously investigated for animal cruelty for abandoning at least 10 puppies in 2015. That same year, Federal Way Police investigated Wolff for allegedly leaving a rottweiler and her two puppies crated in a truck in the pouring rain, according to charging documents.

To donate to the Humane Society and support the recovery of the rescued dogs, visit the shelter’s website at

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