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Authorities say 30 hounds were in house

June 05, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Authorities have raised to 30 their count of the number of Russian wolfhounds that had been living in a feces-strewn townhouse in Berkeley County.

Last month, animal control officers and police helped remove 27 of the dogs from 132 Morningside Drive, in the Spring Mills Commons development. The dogs, which are known as Borzois, were later taken in by members of a rescue group for the breed.

Berkeley County Animal Control Officer Jason Ahalt said Monday that two dogs that had escaped that day were picked up last week.

Another dog that was believed to also be from the house was found dead on Interstate 81 near Falling Waters, W.Va., over the Memorial Day weekend. A state highway crew retrieved that dog.

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Frank Snodgrass, 48, owner of the house, is facing six counts of animal cruelty. Ahalt and West Virginia State Police Trooper Eric Burnett said that it is unlikely that other charges will be filed.

Snodgrass is free on $5,000 bail.

Police and animal control officers responded to the home at about 3 a.m. on May 17 after a 911 call was made about a woman screaming there.

According to Ahalt, the house - which the county has since condemned - was filled with feces in piles one to three feet high.

At first, authorities counted 29 dogs at the house - two that ran away and 27 that were taken to the county animal center and the Berkeley County Humane Society. One small puppy died within a day.

Bruce DeHaven, who supervises the Division of Highways' Interstate 81 office on Rock Cliff Drive, just outside Martinsburg, said the wolfhound "looked a lot better than the other ones." It was bigger and had eaten better than many of the mangy dogs that were rescued, he said.

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