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Neighbors react to animal cruelty verdict

October 19, 2000

Neighbors react to animal cruelty verdict



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg,


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Former neighbors of a Berkeley County man convicted Wednesday of six counts of animal cruelty said the man should go to jail when he is sentenced Nov. 21.

"He didn't get enough,' neighbor Marjorie Christian said of Frank Snodgrass, 48, who kept 30 Russian wolfhounds at his house on 132 Morningside Drive near Spring Mills Road. Christian thought the number was 29 dogs. "I think he should been convicted on 29 counts for 29 dogs. I think he should go to jail."

Snodgrass faces up to six months in jail for each count on which he was convicted.

Christian and her husband Chris live across Morningside Drive from where Snodgrass kept the dogs. They and other neighbors said the smell from the animals was unbearable.

"I don't think I will ever forget that smell," said Kristine Snavely, a neighbor three doors down in the townhouse complex. "It was a terrible stench. I hope he gets some jail time over it. I just don't know how he could treat them like that."

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"I think he's going to get away with a slap on the wrist," said Chris Christian.

Snodgrass is free on bond until his sentencing. Neither he or his is attorney could not be reached for comment.

During an hour-long hearing in Magistrate Court Wednesday, an animal control officer testified that the Russian wolfhounds were malnourished and suffered a wide range of medical problems. Six dogs died from the conditions.

The dogs were taken from the Falling Waters home in May.

Authorities found feces piled three feet deep in the home and officers were overwhelmed by the foul odor. They had to borrow air masks from a local fire department.

The home has been condemned, and health officials ordered a cleanup because of the threat of disease, rodents and other risks associated with animal waste.

Cleanup work has been intensive at the house in recent weeks, the neighbors said. But they are not optimistic the smell will ever leave the premises.

"One of the neighbors was told when they turn the heat on, the smell will come back," Marjorie Christina said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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