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County to take over animal control for Martinsburg, W.Va.

July 09, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Stray dogs in Martinsburg, W.Va., will now be picked up by the Berkeley County Animal Control Office.

Beginning July 1, the Berkeley County Commission took over responsibility of catching stray dogs and investigating dog bite cases in Martinsburg, said County Administrator Deborah Sheetenhelm.

The county worked out an agreement with the City of Martinsburg to handle the dog pound, Sheetenhelm said.

Martinsburg residents have been without a dog warden since April when the city's humane officers left, Sheetenhelm said.

The county has increased the number of animal control officers from three to five, Sheetenhelm said.

The county also bought two additional vehicles for the officers to use, she said.

The city is paying the county $65,000 to provide the service for Martinsburg, she said.

All five officers will work throughout the county, she said.

The two will not be assigned specifically to Martinsburg, but it was believed the additional officers were needed to handle the expected increase, she said.

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Previously the county's Animal Control Office had jurisdiction just in the unincorporated areas of the county, Sheetenhelm said.

The county will not be handling barking dog complaints as the city's dog wardens had, Sheetenhelm said. Those cases will be handled by the Martinsburg Police Department.

The county also will not be picking up dead dogs from the streets, she said. That will now be handled by the Martinsburg street department.

The county will pick up stray dogs and take them to the pound where either their owners can pick them up within five days or they can be adopted, Sheetenhelm said.

"We make an effort to find homes for as many as we can," Sheetenhelm said.

The county's shelter is located on South Queen Street.

The county's policy is to euthanize dogs when necessary because of a lack of space, which is the same as the city's, she said.

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