By Darlene J. Swiger
WEST UNION, W.Va. — Pet rescue groups and the Harrison County Animal Control Center are working to save as many of the 130 pets as possible that were rescued Friday from a Doddridge County home.
In addition to the cats and dogs found in deplorable conditions, there were also 55 birds in the home that were not being properly taken care of, Harrison Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Scolapio said.
The Doddridge County Sheriff’s Department requested assistance with a possible pet hoarder at a house in West Union, Scolapio said, in explaining his participation in the case.
“This is the worst hoarding and pet hoarding situation I’ve seen between Harrison and Doddridge counties,” he said. “They were in crates too small with an accumulation of feces and urine.”
Harrison County deputies and animal control officers helped execute the search warrant prepared by Doddridge Deputy Chris Garner and removed the animals, Scolapio said.
Authorities did not have the ability to transfer birds, although plans are being made to remove them in the near future, he said.
Any animals picked up in Doddridge County are taken to the Harrison County Animal Control Center, according to Scolapio.
The female resident in her mid 60s “voluntarily surrendered all the animals. Criminal charges are pending,” Scolapio said. “Deputy Garner will present the information to the Doddridge County prosecutor to determine what the appropriate number of charges is going to be.”
Pet Helpers Inc. and P.U.R.R. of West Virginia, volunteer animal rescue organizations, came to the animal control shelter on Friday to save some of the animals, according to Lorna Vincent Venter, executive director of P.U.R.R.
P.U.R.R. works closely with the control center on cat-related rescues.
“We were asked to come in and evaluate the cats coming in. We brought our staff vet, Dr. Valerie Walker, in to triage and evaluate health on the 108 cats,” Venter said. “There were very serious health conditions. A large percentage were unable to be saved.”
P.U.R.R. was able to take in some of them, but due to rescuing 96 cats last week, did not have room for them all. Some are still housed at animal control waiting on rescue and adoption. The group will remove more of them this week for placement…