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Animal Cruelty

NEWS
August 5, 2011
Animal control officers this week removed eight horses from a home in the Bedington, W.Va., area due to suspected malnutrition, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said in a press release Friday. Three of the eight horses had “little ones” that were also taken to allow continued nursing, the press release said. Animal control officers discovered the horses' condition during a routine inspection, when they also found food and water at “questionable levels,” police alleged.
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NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | July 21, 2011
An animal cruelty officer in Franklin County, Pa., said he has been encountering overheated animals without access to water, including five miniature horses seized in the Chambersburg area Wednesday. The four male and one female horses were lying on ground that registered 133 degrees with an infrared thermometer, according to Buck Hessler, a humane society police officer with the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. He is consulting with the Franklin County (Pa.) District Attorney's Office about filing citations against the horse's owner for improper shelter, tethering and unavailability of water.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | May 13, 2011
A Hagerstown man was found not guilty of animal cruelty and other charges Thursday in Washington County District Court for shooting a neighbor’s dog. Steven Eugene Graven, 56, of 20610 Jefferson Boulevard, had also been charged with mutilating an animal and malicious destruction of property in the Oct. 22, 2010, shooting of the mastiff outside his home, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office....
NEWS
April 26, 2011
An Ohio man will spend 30 days in jail after pleading guilty in West Virginia to 20 animal cruelty counts. Leonard Woods Jr. of Lewisville, Ohio, entered his plea Monday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. Another 74 animal cruelty counts were dismissed under a plea agreement. Magistrate Harry Snow also barred Woods from owning or possessing any animals for five years and fined him $300 on each of the 20 misdemeanor counts. The charges stem from the seizure of 90 dogs from the Yip Yip Kennel outside Martinsburg last August.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | March 24, 2011
A Berkeley County woman Thursday was ordered to pay $11,071 in restitution for the care that was given to more than 50 horses and two cows that were found in September at her equine rescue operation with little to eat or drink. Mary O'Brien, 37, was given two years to pay the restitution in a hearing held by Berkeley County Magistrate Joan V. Bragg. If the money is not paid, O'Brien's driver's license could be suspended, and the county could pursue a civil action against her, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Saunders said.
NEWS
February 24, 2011
A man convicted of violating a black family's civil rights after being accused of trying to force them from their Falling Waters, W.Va., home must sell the property where he once lived. The Berkeley County Council Thursday gave Bruce A. Poole, 50, of Falling Waters, W.Va., 60 days to either sell the Potomac Park Estates subdivision property lots that he and Kendra N. Sulick own or to have what remains of a burned mobile home there cleaned up. Poole, who is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 on two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and one felony count of civil rights violations, has been ordered by a circuit judge not to be within 100 feet of Lots 7 and 8 along Wisconsin Lane, according to county and court records.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | February 2, 2011
A Hagerstown man who killed one of his neighbors' 17 cats with a BB gun was placed on probation Wednesday in Washington County District Court after pleading guilty to animal cruelty. "He never intended to hit the cat," defense attorney Erika Peteranecz told Judge Mark Thomas of her client, Patrick King, 48, of 1126 Outer Drive. The cat was sitting on a back fence on Aug. 25 when King shot it with a BB gun in an attempt to frighten it away, she said. King's shot, however, struck the cat in the head, killing it, according to the charging documents filed by Hagerstown police.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | January 26, 2011
A restitution hearing was postponed again Wednesday for a Berkeley County woman who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in October 2010 for the mistreatment of more than 50 horses and two cows. Mary O'Brien, 37, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty and was fined $1,000 in October. She still could be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution stemming from the care that officials said was provided to keep the animals alive. Found malnourished and with little to eat or drink at Hidden Meadows Equine Rescue Inc., the horses and cows were seized Sept.
NEWS
By DANA BROWN | August 13, 2010
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- At 6 feet tall and 270 pounds, Buck Hessler is a big man. But his heart is even bigger. Hessler is a Humane Society Police Officer for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. His job is to investigate animal cruelty complaints. During his five years as a humane officer, Hessler has helped more than 500 animals, 150 this year alone. On average, he responds to 25 calls per month, he said. In July, that number jumped to more than 40 calls, he said. His job is also his passion.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | June 4, 2010
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --A restitution hearing will be held to determine what an Inwood, W.Va., woman will pay for the Berkeley County Animal Control's care of 149 dogs seized from a canine shelter in a 2006 animal cruelty case. The hearing ordered in the state's case against Mara Spade, 65, was part of a decision filed Friday by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, which reversed 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes' decision and sent the case back to Berkeley County Magistrate Court.
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