Police investigate complaint about animal conditions
by Jazz Clark
West Virginia State Police were called to the scene on Tuesday, July 10 after visitors to the county-owned Rt. 9
kennels discovered that the air conditioning wasn’t on for the dogs.
Amy Lane brought the charges on Monday, July 9, claiming that leaving dogs in summer heat is animal neglect.
Lane had accompanied Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson to check on the animals while the officer was away, but noticed the smell when they opened the house.
“I had to do something to save those puppies, in good conscience,” Lane said. “In that small of a space, in that heat, they could have died.”
In addition to the lack of air conditioning, Lane claims there was no water and food, as well as a 2 by 4 foot cage filled with feces.
The puppies were located inside of the house in the quarantine area.
No charges have been filed by State Trooper Derek Walker who surveyed the kennels, but the case is still being investigated.
County Administrator Jody McClintock confirmed that the air conditioning unit was on when the animal control officer left for business on the weekend.
“A short power outage may have tripped the air conditioning system and caused the unit to shut down,” McClintock said.
Animal Control Officer Jason Pearce believes the power went off Sunday evening. “Unfortunately, that system does not automatically restart,” he said.
The puppies were hound mix strays from the same litter, and Pearce picked them up in the Magnolia area on Friday, July 6. He put them inside the house not to quarantine them, but to protect them from the heat.
On Monday, July 9, temperatures were as high as 85 degrees and as low as 66 degrees.
The six puppies were taken that day to the Morgan County Humane Society through previous arrangements, according to McClintock.
As of July 10, there were five other dogs in the county’s animal control kennel.