MARTINSBURG, W. Va. (WDVM) — On July 25th, claims of inhumane conditions of the animals in the care of the Berkeley County Animal Control Center were brought to the attention of the public and also the sheriff.
Two weeks ago, WDVM was invited to tour the Berkeley County Animal Control Center, but it appeared that improvements had already been made before that invitation was offered. However, after talking with both the Berkeley County Sheriff and the Chief of Animal Control, they informed WDVM that improvements had not only started well before this complaint but will continue well into the future.
Berkeley County Animal Control Chief, Kevin Jones, was aware of improvements that needed to be addressed at the animal control center. Once he discovered one of the permanent air units only provided hot air to the pound in early June, he immediately began to correct the issue.
“A lot of times, you don’t know how things are until something happens. And we work our best to correct it as they arise and keep it under control, keep the animals safe and healthy while they’re in our custody.”Kevin Jones, Berkeley County Animal Control Chief
The animals at the facility are never held in temperatures above 80 degrees. Each side of the pound has exhaust vents that try to remove as much of the stale air as possible. Jones also stated there are multiple fans and portable air conditioning units strategically placed around the pound to provide cool air to the animals.
Both Chief Jones and Berkeley County Sheriff Curtis Keller, who personally oversaw the complaint, believe a new facility should be an option entertained by the county.
Sheriff Keller says as the county has grown, the buildings should also grow and improve with that population increase.
“Well, they should have another building. When you grow in a county, you’re going to have more animals and you’re going to have more problems. And if you have a building that is 25 years old, you need to look at maybe getting more room and getting better accommodations for the animals.”Berkeley County Sheriff Curtis Keller
The animal control officers stressed that the safety of the animals is their first priority.