Contact info for the AC: More information about foster home for animals is available by calling Berkeley County Animal Control at 304-263-4729.
Here's the story from the Martinsburg Journal:
http://www.journal-news.net/page/conten ... l?nav=5222
9:10 p.m. 94 dogs seized from home
House is condemned by county health department
By Edward Marshall Journal Staff Writer
POSTED: August 5, 2010 Save | Print | Email Email: "9:10 p.m. 94 dogs seized from home"
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MARTINSBURG - Ninety-four dogs were seized from a Martinsburg home Wednesday following a citizens' petition to the Berkeley County Commission that complained about deplorable conditions at a local dog kennel.
Capt. Scott Richmond of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department said Thursday the dogs were seized from the Yip Yip Dog Kennel at 1206 S. Raleigh St., as a result of an investigation opened by Berkeley County Animal Control after the commission received the petition. The investigation ultimately resulted in a search warrant being obtained by Lt. W.A. Johnson, an investigator with the Sheriff's Department.
"They executed the search warrant (Wednesday) at the residence about mid-morning. It lasted until almost 7 p.m.," Richmond said.
The dogs, mostly pit bulls, ranged in age from young puppies to older dogs, he said.
Animal Control Officer Erin Webber said Thursday the official count of the seized dogs stood at 85 pit bulls, eight French bull dogs and one Lhasa apso.
Criminal charges are pending against the kennel owner, who police declined to identify. No official charges had been filed as of Thursday afternoon.
Officers worked almost up until to midnight Wednesday cataloguing all of the seized dogs, which now are being cared for at county animal control facilities.
"They are in our care and they are being cared for," Richmond said. "Several had to be taken to the vet today, plus we had a vet yesterday checking them anyway to see if further treatment was needed."
Richmond said the animals were discovered in varying conditions, with several being found in serious need of care.
He said he believed the owner of the kennel was a breeder of pit bulls, and other people also may have brought their dogs to be bred at the facility.
Berkeley County Health Department officials were present during the search of the house where the dogs were found, and it was condemned because conditions were found to be uninhabitable.
"It's an ongoing investigation, charges are pending - and until then we are going to care for the animals ...," Richmond said. "The prosecutor said we're just not going to comment on the criminal case other than it's a pending case."
Whenever animal control officers remove a dog from a residence, the owner receives a seizure notice, officials said.
Webber said after the individual receives the notice, he or she has five days to contact Berkeley County Magistrate Court to request a hearing regarding the seizure. If a hearing is requested, one will be held within 10 days. Once the hearing is held, a magistrate will decide whether or not there was probable cause to seize the dog.
If the court finds there was no probable cause to seize the dog, the animal will be returned to the owner. However, if the court finds animal control officers did have probable cause for the seizure, then the owner will be required to post a cash bond to pay for the care for the dogs during any continuing legal proceedings regarding custody.
"If they set the cash bond, Berkeley County has to hold the dogs for them," Webber said. "If they don't set the cash bond, then the dogs become custody of Berkeley County and can be adopted out permanently."
In the meantime, the dogs also can be placed in temporary foster homes for those who qualify. More information about foster home for animals is available by calling Berkeley County Animal Control at 304-263-4729.
- Staff writer Edward Marshall can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 182, or firstname.lastname@example.org