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Originally published Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM

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Dog Lucky moves out of Shoreline basement, into shelter

A dog that has been living in the basement of a Shoreline house for most of four years — the past two months with its owner out of town — will be at the King County animal shelter in Kent indefinitely. It's also possible that Lucky might go back to his owner, says a King County animal-control spokeswoman.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Lucky is free from the basement where he's spent almost half his life, but the dog might remain at the King County animal shelter indefinitely as the owner is being investigated for animal cruelty, said shelter operations manager Glynis Frederiksen.

If no charges are filed or if the owner is found not guilty, the dog will be returned, Frederiksen said Wednesday afternoon. The owner wants him back, she said.

Nine-year-old Lucky had been locked in a basement for most of four years, neighbors say. The past two months the owner has been gone and her ex-husband sporadically fed and watered the dog. He agreed Wednesday morning to let King County Regional Animal Services officers take Lucky until the legal issues are resolved.

The man told the animal-control officer that Lucky had the run of the house and wasn't locked in the basement as neighbors said when they complained about Lucky's constant barking and saw him through the basement's glass doors.

"I've put up with that little dog for eight years," said Hildur Hanna, who lives next door. The dog's owners moved into the house on 23rd Avenue Northeast nine years ago and got the dog a year later. For the first few years, Lucky was confined to the backyard, where he barked incessantly, neighbors said.

"He's a beautiful dog. I hope whoever gets him gives that dog a lot of love," Hanna said.

Brooke Bascom, spokeswoman for animal control, said there were a variety of allegations used to get the search warrant for the home on 23rd Avenue Northeast in Shoreline, but she didn't elaborate. She said the investigating officer would be talking to the neighbors and collecting photos shot from the neighbor's property to determine whether or not to file charges against the owner.

The owner could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday afternoon, Lucky, an American Eskimo mix, sat trembling in a corner of a kennel at the Kent shelter.

Kelly Page of the Dogs Deserve Better advocacy group is angry that Lucky is again confined, with no immediate hope of release to a foster home or to Pasado's Safe Haven, which specializes in rehabilitating traumatized animals and agreed to take him.

Because there's a pending criminal case against the owners, Lucky must remain at the Kent shelter, Frederiksen said. He has been seen by a veterinarian, she said, though she wouldn't comment on his condition.

"As horrific as this is, it's not uncommon," Frederiksen said. A tiny dachshund remains indefinitely in a nearby kennel after being abandoned in a house that had been foreclosed. And in a row of nearby kennels are a variety of other dogs whose owners are facing cruelty charges.

There are 36 active animal-cruelty or -neglect cases ongoing in King County.

Nancy Bartley: 206-464-8522 or nbartley@seattletimes.com

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