Berkeley County Animal Control under fire after new allegations

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Martinsburg, W. Va. (WDVM) — Multiple reports to the Berkeley County Sheriffs Office caused what some are calling a knee jerk reaction to accusations of unsafe and unhealthy living conditions at the Berkeley County Animal Control Center.

One Berkeley County resident who requested to remain unnamed detailed exactly what they felt upon entering the kennels.

The resident explained that the temperature inside of the kennels were “well above one hundred degrees.” They also described how the space had no air conditioning, only fans moving air around. The resident also noticed that only after media and community attention was placed on Animal Control, air conditioning units were brought into the space.

"Apparently there were a couple complaints made, one being mine, and all of a sudden, from this morning to this afternoon, now we have air conditioning."

Captain Will Johnson with the Berkeley County Sheriffs Office responded to the accusations in a written statement reading,

“The animals are being housed in kennels with a room temperature of 78-82 degrees based on the variance of fans and portable a/c they have now. Even though that’s acceptable, the sheriffs have ordered 2 more additional portable a/c units until the BCAC can make a more permanent adjustment which has already been addressed.”

Captain Johnson also went on to explain that the Animal Control Center is within standards and that the Sheriffs Office is currently working improving the facility.

Berkeley County Sheriffs candidate Nathan Harmon stated that this is not the first time concerns have been raised about the Animal Control Center. Harmon visited the facility twice over the last few months, once in November of 2019 and again in February of 2020, and noticed no air circulation systems both in the kennels and building storage. While he acknowledges that his visits were during the winter, he still believes that the cooling systems should have already been on premise.

“It’s very depressing to understand that the pro-activeness that should have been done ahead of time was not done until a complaint is made. We have to be thinking forward on these things and have the facilities necessary to suffice for any environmental changes or conditions.”

Nathan Harmon, Berkeley County Sheriffs candidate

As a dog owner, Harmon stated that he hopes that reform and improvement is a priority to the Berkeley County Animal Control Center.

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