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Bond reinstated for Inwood dog rescue operator

November 09, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After spending four nights in Eastern Regional Jail, an Inwood, W.Va., woman charged with animal cruelty last year was released on a new bond set Wednesday by a Berkeley County magistrate who had her locked up for apparently violating her previous bail agreement.

Magistrate Joan V. Bragg set a $2,000 bond for Mara Spade, 62, of 386 Gunpowder Lane, and expounded on a previous bail condition that the woman have no animals in her possession.

The animal cruelty charge stems from allegations filed in June 2006 that claim Spade was mistreating 149 dogs at a canine shelter she operated off Harlan Springs Road.

"Defendant shall not have any domesticated animals (dogs and cats) in her possession (at her residence) and shall not have any contact ... by feeding, watering ... or mending any fencing ..." Bragg said in the new bail agreement, which was signed Wednesday by Spade.

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On Nov. 2, Bragg signed an order revoking and forfeiting Spade's $2,000 personal recognizance bond after a Berkeley County assistant prosecuting attorney indicated in a motion that he obtained evidence Spade had violated the previous bail agreement that was in effect until Spade is tried on the animal cruelty charge on Dec. 4.

Residents told a Berkeley County Animal Control officer in affidavits that Spade was caring for more than a dozen dogs at 556 Gerrardstown Road, a property that courthouse records indicate the woman purchased in December 2006. Investigators have said they counted 37 dogs last week.

Spade denied in an interview last week that she was operating another canine rescue since Second Chance Rescue Inc. essentially was shut down last year.

In a June 29, 2006, visit to Second Chance Rescue, investigators said they saw several canines that exhibited lameness and poor skin and haircoats and open wounds, according to court records.

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