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Officer says 'hundreds' of dogs shot, poisoned

March 04, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Between 50 and 75 dogs have been poisoned in Jefferson County in the past year, and even more have been shot, according to Jefferson County Animal Control officer Donald Longerbeam.

Longerbeam said he believes the dogs are being killed in retaliation for large numbers of the animals running at large.

In most cases, antifreeze is being poured over meat and left outside for dogs to eat, said Longerbeam.

Dogs are attracted to the sweet taste of antifreeze, Longerbeam said. The dogs usually suffer for about two days before dying, he said.

Longerbeam said the poisonings have been occurring across the county, but have been concentrated at times in a handful of subdivisions: Fox Glen, Shannondale, Blue Ridge Acres and Shady Acres.

All four subdivisions have leash laws, which means that all dogs must be confined to the owner's property or on a leash at all times.

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"We are receiving an alarming number of complaints concerning dogs in the county," Longerbeam said. "These problems can be corrected by the dog owner."

In areas that do not have leash laws, dog owners can let their animals run free if they have county dog tags and rabies shots. But the owners can be liable for any damage the dogs cause, said Longerbeam.

Longerbeam said his office has had trouble with dogs chasing livestock in the county. He estimated that hundreds of dogs have been shot by people who are upset with the animals.

Longerbeam said he has been keeping track of poisoned dogs as they are being brought to local veterinarians by their owners.

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