Officer cared for many dogs rather than euthanize them
The owner of an online dog adoption service had only praise for former Animal Control officer Laura Klein when she was contacted on Monday.
Nancy Yeakley, director of Safe Haven Dog Rescue, said she had known Klein for four or five years and had tried to help her adopt out dogs that had come into the county kennel. Based in Martinsburg, Safe Haven doesn’t run a kennel, but lists dogs that are cared for in “foster homes” until their adoption.
Yeakley told The Morgan Messenger
that she had already talked to Prosecuting Attorney Debra McLaughlin and would be sending her a letter to explain how Safe Haven works.
As she described it, Klein listed two types
of dogs with Safe Haven and other online adoption websites. There were dogs that were still in the kennel and there were dogs that Klein herself was caring for.
Dogs are only required to be kept in the county-owned kennel for five days. Rather than have them euthanized at that point, Klein was said to have continued to care for a number of adoptable dogs in her home at her own expense. This also saved the county the cost of euthanizing the animals and disposing of their bodies.
When these “foster” dogs found a possible home, the prospective owner was interviewed by Klein and there was sometimes a $200 charge to help defray the costs of vet bills and boarding for the animals. Prospective owners were often told they could get $100 back if the dog was neutered or spayed, according to Yeakley.
Some of the websites used by Klein listed dogs that were “for sale or adoption,” and were often the same sites used by the Morgan County Humane Society. The listings of dogs in the kennel were dropped after January 21, Klein’s last day as animal control officer.