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More than 130 dogs seized from Berkeley County home

June 19, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Authorities seized 132 dogs from a Falling Waters, W.Va., residence Tuesday after responding to investigate complaints that the animals were being mistreated, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said.

As of Tuesday night, no charges had been filed, but the the sheriff’s office said in a news release that some of the animals were found underweight and dehydrated.

The case remains under investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

One puppy purchased from the residence at 64 Slate Lane by The Humane Society of United States was found to be underweight, suffering from dehydration and had “heavy intestinal parasite burden” after being examined at Shenandoah Veterinary Hospital in Martinsburg, the release said.

The veterinary report on the puppy indicated it had lesions on its abdomen due to matted feces within its coat, and fleas were found, the sheriff’s office said.

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The humane society in a report to Berkeley County Animal Control Officer Donna McMahan said that members of the group responded to an online advertisement at Craigslist.org and intended to purchase a puppy from the owners, the sheriff’s office said.

When members of the group arrived at the residence, the owners did not allow them inside and only brought puppies to the door to show them, police said.

The humane society reported a foul odor coming from the residence, and noted they saw feces on the floor and spotted feces on 10 to 12 dogs that were loose inside the home, police said.

Upon responding to investigate the prior complaints, McMahan informed investigating Deputy Michael St. Clair that officers were not allowed inside to check on the animals’ welfare.

St. Clair and animal control officers searched the residence and seized the animals, which were taken to the animal control facilities, the release said.

Anyone with information may contact St. Clair at 304-267-7000 or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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