The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office says three people from Ferndale have been arrested for investigation of animal cruelty after four dogs were found with their throats slit in a wooded area.

Three of the dogs were dead and one dog, a 10-week-old puppy of Yorkshire terrier and dachshund mix, was barely alive. The puppy was nursed back to health at the Whatcom Humane Society and is now living in protective custody at a foster home, healing from its wound.

Arrested for investigation of four counts each of felony animal cruelty were 46-year-old Maria Huffman, 23-year-old Richard Huffman and 45-year-old Michael Wopat.

The trio previously was arrested for investigation of separate animal cruelty charges Oct. 27. In that case, Sheriff Bill Elfo says about 40 malnourished animals, including cats, dogs, chickens, ducks and other birds, were found to be suffering from a variety of ailments and living in filthy conditions.

Elfo says the day after those arrests and while awaiting court dates, the Huffmans and Wopat were released from jail on the condition they not possess any pets.