News

Smiley’s day in court ends

Bob Baker and Barbara Moran dropped all 14 complaints they filed against the Whidbey Island Animals’ Improvement Foundation in an effort to save the life of a mixed-breed shelter dog named Smiley, and WAIF dropped its counterclaim against Baker and Moran.

Claims from both sides were dismissed Monday with prejudice, meaning that neither side can bring the litigation up again, according to Oak Harbor lawyer Mark Theune, who defended WAIF.

“Both sides agreed to disagree,” he said.

Theune represented WAIF, a private, nonprofit organization for a reduced rate, but the shelter still spent $14,700 on legal fees, according to Don Rowan, treasurer of the board.

Bellingham animal lawyer Adam Karp represented Baker and Moran, the former WAIF volunteers who took a second mortgage out on their home to cover legal fees.

The Whidbey News-Times could not reach Karp, Baker or Moran by phone for comment before deadline Friday. Moran did contacted the News-Times by email, regarding WAIF’s Monday board meeting, and included a list of 33 suggestions they sent the board at the end of January along with a settlement offer for Smiley.

“We always wanted to help with many of these improvements, as did others who were fired,” Moran wrote. “We do hope, however, that suggestions from concerned citizens will now be welcomed by the WAIF board and implemented. We also hope WAIF will learn to involve and welcome the community in its future efforts to assist homeless dogs and cats on Whidbey Island.”

As for Smiley, he hasn’t been seen since someone stole him from the WAIF shelter. The theft was discovered Feb. 7.

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