Animals Rescued from Murder Scene

March 3, 2016

Unreported in the coverage of the recent tragedy in Belfair was Kitsap County Animal Control’s work behind the scenes to rescue the animals of the victims. On February 26, Mason County’s Sheriff Department responded to an incident in which David Wayne Campbell had shot and killed his wife, her two teenage children and an elderly neighbor. Both the family killed and the neighbor had pets, but Mason County has no animal shelter, so the Sheriff Department called Kitsap Humane Society’s Animal Control Officers for assistance.

Four dogs had been inside the Campbell home during the standoff with police and tear gassing of the house. Kitsap Animal Control Officers were able to calm the dogs enough to catch them and remove them from the home. Those dogs were taken to Kitsap Humane Society where they immediately received a medical exam and were bathed to remove the tear gas chemicals from their coats. The dogs were reclaimed by family members in the days following the tragedy.

The elderly neighbor who was killed also had pets. Once on the scene, Mason County deputies and Kitsap Animal Control Officers discovered many cats in her home. Animal Control was able to catch six adult cats and five neonatal kittens. The cats were taken to Kitsap Humane Society where they also received medical exams and the kittens went into foster care immediately so they could receive around-the-clock feeding and care. This week Animal Control Officers were able to reach the owner’s next of kin who has released custody of the cats to Kitsap Humane Society. Many of the adult cats will likely become available for adoption this weekend. In addition, Kitsap Animal Control Officers are continuing to retrieve more cats from the residence, and are expecting to take in at least 10 more cats from the victim’s home. The cats will all receive needed medical care before being ready for adoption.

Kitsap Humane Society is a private, nonprofit, charitable organization that has been caring for animals in need since 1908. KHS admits more than 5,000 animals per year and has one of the highest lives saved rates in the US. KHS’ vision is that every adoptable companion animal has a home. For more information, visit