BERKELEY, W.Va. (WDVM) — It’s a sight that breaks animal lovers’ hearts.
Alley Cat Allies is a nonprofit organization that focuses on advocating for cats. However, officials with the organization said they could not ignore the conditions of other animals at the Berkeley County Animal Control.
Becky Robinson is the President and Founder of Alley Cats Allies. Robinson said the investigation began after an alleged cat named Newt was extremely thin, with a thick enlarged, and discolored tongue and swelling that prevented him from closing his mouth.
“We’ve learned that there are animals that were in grave conditions at the Berkeley Animal Control in West Virginia. And so we conducted an in-depth investigation and learned that there was a serious pattern of them breaking the law,” Robinson said.
On Tuesday, the nonprofit filed a Writ of Mandamus which is asking the supreme court of the Mountain State to order the county to act on its duty and to comply with the law.
According to court documents, animal cruelty laws of West Virginia make it a crime “for any person to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly . . . [w]ithhold . . . [m]edical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end the suffering of any animal.”
“These animals were taken to licensed veterinarians, many that are specialists and they have gone on record with what they found,” Robinson continued. “So this is a case where there is evidence and these are animals that obviously need care. A dog that came in Kimberley her eye was so enlarged and swollen that it was almost coming out of her socket. This dog has not received care in the eight days that she was in the facility.”
WDVM 25 reached out to Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon.
“But as far as myself and animal control they are in line with their producers and everything is being taken care of the animals are being taken care of that are in the custody and care of the animal control office,” Sheriff Harmon said in a phone interview Tuesday.
As of now, the petition states several alleged animal abuse cases out of animal control.
Robinson said the next steps are for the Berkeley County Council to launch their investigation.