CENTRALIA, Wash. -- Deputies seized 38 dogs and puppies from unsanitary conditions in an RV outside a Centralia home Thursday.

Law enforcement and animal control officers acting on a tip searched the RV in the 1600 block of Little Hanaford Road at about 3 p.m., said Chief Deputy Stacy Brown of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.

The owner, 49-year-old Jimmie R. Jemison, is accused of keeping and breeding puppies in an unsafe environment.

Kennels were stacked upon kennels. The animals were sleeping and eating in their own feces, Brown said.

Approximately a dozen domesticated live rats were found in a cage in an outbuilding, she added. There was also a kennel containing dead baby possums mixed with live dogs. It is unknown if the dogs killed the baby possums or they died of other causes.

The 21 adult dogs and 17 puppies were taken to the Lewis County animal shelter.

Jemison was arrested on animal cruelty, but had to be transferred to a nearby hospital due to a severe medical condition, Brown said.

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