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Man facing cruelty charges

Eight dogs, a cat and a dead Saint Bernard were found Saturday inside a feces and trash-filled house

Eight dogs, a cat and a dead Saint Bernard were found Saturday inside a feces and trash-filled house

June 26, 2002|By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Humane Society of Washington County on Tuesday filed animal cruelty charges against a Hagerstown man after finding eight dogs, a cat and a dead Saint Bernard inside his feces-and-trash-filled house Saturday, agency Executive Director Maria Procopio said.

Kenneth Green Jr., 53, also was charged with animal cruelty in connection with an additional nine dogs found in crates in his carport, Procopio said. Those animals were without access to water for at least four hours on Saturday, she alleged.

Green was charged in Washington County District Court with a total of 28 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, including 19 counts of cruelty and nine counts of mutilation.

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The mutilation charges were filed because dogs bit other dogs during fights between unneutered males in close proximity, she said.

The penalty for a conviction on a cruelty charge is a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both.

The penalty for mutilation is a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not to exceed three years, or both.

"Green failed to provide water, air, veterinary care and protection from the weather, causing unnecessary suffering," Procopio alleged in charging documents.

Green said Cassey, the Saint Bernard, died June 15, Procopio said. The other dogs chewed on the dog's legs after she died, Procopio said.

The Washington County Health Department has ordered Green to clean his house at 115 Wakefield Road of trash and animal feces within two weeks, Health Officer William Christoffel said Tuesday.

Green will be allowed inside his house to clean but can't stay there while it is in its present condition, Christoffel said.

If Green does not clean the home within two weeks, the court will be asked to find him in contempt, Christoffel said.

Green said he runs a Saint Bernard rescue service and transports animals for rescue groups in the Tri-State area, Procopio said. Seven of the dogs in his house, including the dead one, were Saint Bernards.

Humane Society personnel went to Green's house after receiving a complaint Saturday about crates of animals in his driveway, Procopio said.

Green had picked up nine animals in Washington County on Saturday morning from a Morgantown, W.Va., woman who rescues animals from kill shelters, Procopio said.

Green was supposed to deliver the cats and dogs to Second Chance Rescue in Inwood, W.Va., Saturday morning but instead he went to work and left the animals in his carport, she alleged.

Green did not return calls made to his home Tuesday.

The Humane Society called the Hagerstown Police Department for assistance and the police called the Health Department.

After smelling a strong odor from the house, Procopio said, she told Green she wanted to check the condition of the house and the animals.

While the animals were being moved outside, one of the dogs bit Green, Procopio said. He later was treated at Washington County Hospital for the injury and released, a hospital spokesperson said.

Procopio alleged in charging documents that "the floors were covered, from wall to wall and in some rooms as deep as the window sills, with feces and trash. The stench was overpowering and forced us to cover our faces."

Eight of the nine live animals taken from inside the house required medical treatment, including for bite wounds, she said.

The animals which were to be transported probably will be sent on to Second Chance, Procopio said.

Tania Edwards, co-director of Second Chance, said she was shocked to hear about the situation.

Green had provided transportation services for Second Chance for at least six months and there had been no problems, she said.

"This is so shocking to everyone who knows him. He is such an animal lover. He seems to treat them all very well. He seems to have so much affection for them," she said.

James Seward, who lives two doors down from Green, said Green kept to himself, but when they talked he seemed a pleasant person.

"He is a very nice man. He is not evil or nasty or anything," Seward said.

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