The owner of the Stanfield property where police and volunteers rescued 35 dogs has until Sept. 18 to get rid of the single-wide trailer.
Stanfield City Manager Blair Larsen said the council unanimously voted last week to declare the property dangerous and have the owner demolish it.
“It is really the only option that makes any sense,” Larsen said.
The city hired Hawkins Interior Services of Hermiston to inspect the single-wide trailer and property at 230 Lucy St. and report on the conditions in the wake of news stories about the Aug. 20 raid on the home that resulted in four arrests, placing two children into protective custody and seizing the dogs and one cat. The inspection found a multitude of problems, from leaking roofs to improperly installed porches to interior mold and exposed electrical wires. The inspection report also noted feces on the floors, shelves and counter tops, which jibes with animal rescuer accounts of the unsafe and unsanitary and conditions in the home.
The report recommended removing the trailer, and Larsen said the council took its action based on the report.
Husband and wife Richard Ruiz, 47, and Martina Ruiz, 48, lived there. They face 37 counts of animal abuse. They had a proceeding Tuesday morning in Umatilla County Circuit Court, Hermiston, and their next appearance in court is Oct. 16.
Andrade Conrado owns the land and the trailer, according to Umatilla County tax records, which has an assessed value of $33,380. But Larsen reported Conrado is dead, and his son, Jesus Rubio, is executor of the estate. The East Oregonian did not find contact information for Rubio.
He nor a representative was at the fateful council meeting, Larsen said, but he spoke to Rubio before the meeting, and the man mentioned his family recommended removing the trailer,
“But since then, I haven’t had any contact with him,” Larsen said. “We haven’t been able to get through on the phone or in person. ... We haven’t gotten any response.”
Likewise, the notices the city placed on the Lucy Street site have drawn only silence, Larsen said.
Rubio has until Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. to demolish the home. Larsen said if Rubio does not, the city will have to hire a contractor to take on the work and charge Conrado for the cost.
“We would much rather people take care of their own properties,” Larsen said. “It’s really frustrating. There’s no guarantee the city will be made whole.”
He also said this process is “really the last resort” for any city, but the scales come down on the side of protecting the public.
Stanfield council orders demolition of ‘dangerous’ property