Animal Cruelty in Washington County

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The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the county sees a high volume of animal cruelty cases compared to any other county around.

"Since 2013, January of course, we've done seven animal cruelty cases and have taken approximately 45 dogs from several different homes," said Washington County Sheriff's Office Dog Warden Kelly McGilton.

Deputy McGilton says a lot of the issues stem back to the different laws in the state and counties.

"I think a lot of it has to do with the severity of the laws, how strict they are, and how far someone is going to go to investigate it. A lot of the calls that we get, we have to go the extra mile in the investigation to really figure out what is going on," said Deputy McGilton.

Last Friday, the department responded to a call at 914 Mcgill Road and upon arrival they found two dead dogs, along six puppies and two adult dogs with their ribs showing and no food or water.

Just about a month ago, they responded to a call that resulted in finding animals living in their own feces and taking 26 dogs out of the home and to the humane society.

"Some of the sights that you see working with animals, it's heart breaking, to anybody, I don't care how cold hearted you are or how much you don't like animals, some of the stuff that we see would get to anybody," said McGilton.

The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley takes in most of the animals with these cruelty cases. Which piles onto the amount of animals they already have, and puts them at capacity.

"Especially if it's larger cases, right now we have no rooms open. So if we have to take dogs from people, because of neglect of abuse, we don't have any place to put them. We are putting up floor cages and moving our dogs around to have room for these abused animals," said Washington County Humane Officer, Misty Carpenter.

Carpenter says even though they are basically always full, the humane society helps people that can't take care of their animals. It is better to be at capacity then let an animal die. She says don't let the situation get that bad, just call for help.

"If you can't take care of your animals, that's what we are here for. You know, we try to place them in homes or get them into rescues so we can avoid this kind of situation. There is no shame in saying I don't have the money to buy food for my animal or take it to the vet, it's just the situation of asking for help," said Carpenter.

Both McGilton and Carpenter say the community can help. If you are concerned about a certain animal, just call the sheriff's department.

"If you see something going on just call. If you see a dog and you see it's ribs and your kinda thinking maybe it might be thin just call. I'd rather go out and check something and it be false then not know and have an animal suffer," said McGilton.

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