September 20, 2020

People behind the scenes of the OAS protest


Now that the dogs of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Washington have been voluntarily surrendered to Guardians of Rescue, the main focus is now finding these dogs forever homes where they can be properly taken care of for the rest of their lives.

While many unanswered questions remain about accountability, the main issue of the day now is the welfare of these dogs. It is worth noting however the people behind the scenes that made this outcome possible.

The Olympic Animal Sanctuary saga is unique because no criminal charges were ever brought against the man running this sanctuary and yet public pressure from protesters and pending lawsuits caused a set of bizarre reactions from this man and ultimately convinced him to surrender the dogs to a rescue organization a thousand miles away from the sanctuary.


Everything was put into motion by the courage of three volunteer workers of the sanctuary who went on local television to expose their claims of abuse and neglect.  As the saga progressed other people stepped into the media spotlight.  While the public voice of the three OAS workers became quiet, their resolve remained. One of these three ex OAS volunteers, Pati Wynn created the Facebook page OAS-Life inside the sanctuary which became a crucial point of reference that galvanized everyone involved in the story together giving them adhesion and a mission. Everyone who played any sort of role in the case knew who “Queen Pati” was.


It was not without cost. People close to Pati say that while she was a resident of Forks she and her family were harassed and threatened to the point where she had to leave the Forks area.

Many other people came into the spotlight, put themselves on the line and supporters became emotionally vested all with one goal in their sight: reopen the investigation that the Forks police abandoned a year prior.  Thanks to the resolve of Pati and other people like Maggie McDowell and her Facebook page Protest OAS, the dogs were ultimately self surrendered. I have never heard of anything like this ever happening before without the intervention of authorities.

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