Seized dogs remain with Animal Control

October 11, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - At least 10 of 149 dogs seized from a canine shelter in Berkeley County earlier this year have been placed with animal welfare agencies in Jefferson and Taylor counties in West Virginia, Berkeley County Magistrate Joan V. Bragg said Tuesday.

And one of the dogs taken from the custody of Second Chance Rescue Inc., formerly operated by Mara Spade of 386 Gunpowder Lane, Inwood, W.Va., might have died, Bragg said.

A misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty still is pending against Spade, who operated the shelter off Harlan Springs Road until the last animals were seized in July by Sheriff's Department deputies and Animal Control officers.

Bragg on Tuesday said she delayed a scheduled hearing concerning the charge against Spade for 30 days because of a petition filed in circuit court by Spade's attorney concerning the case.


Bragg said after the hearing that Spade "relinquished" six of the dogs to the care of Jefferson Animal Welfare League and four others to Taylor County Humane Society.

As of Aug. 8, the cost of caring for the dogs amounted to more than $35,000, according to court records.

Bragg initially required Spade to post a $25,000 bond to pay for the care, records show.

Magistrate court records show Spade has been cited on multiple occasions since 1999 for allowing dogs to run "at large" and other related citations.

If convicted of the alleged animal cruelty misdemeanor, Spade could be sentenced up to six months in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.

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