ELIZABETH - More than a month after the Wirt County Sheriff's Office told The Parkersburg News and Sentinel that there were no problems with dogs left at a Spring Valley property, six dogs were rescued and three found dead on July 16.
On Saturday, officers with the Humane Society of Parkersburg were called to the house trailer to aid the Wirt County Sheriff's Office where three Labrador retrievers, a shepherd mix, a terrier mix and a daschund were rescued, according to Maryann Hollis, executive director of the society.
"Unfortunately there were three puppies deceased at the scene," Hollis said.
Messages for Wirt County Sheriff Keith Wilson were not returned on Monday. Hollis referred most questions about the rescue to Wilson because this case is being investigated by his department.
In early June, a concerned caller told the newspaper that dogs living in a mobile home were being periodically fed and watered by neighbors after their owner moved out of state.
At that time, agencies in the area had received reports of dogs fighting and a foul odor in the area, but Wilson said that he had checked the property and reported there were no problems.
A Sad Situation
Six weeks after the Wirt County Sheriff's Office said there were no animal issues at a Spring Valley property, six dogs were rescued and three found dead.
Wirt County Sheriff Keith Wilson did not return messages left for him in various media on Monday.
Maryann Hollis with the Humane Society of Parkersburg, which helped with the rescue, said five of the six dogs will likely be up for adoption soon.
Wilson told the newspaper that the situation with the animals did not constitute animal cruelty and that he had seen dogs in "a bad situation" and the dogs in question were not in such a state.
While the Wirt County Sheriff's Office said it checked on the dogs and property in early June, Hollis said the humane society, which has no jurisdiction outside of Wood County unless called to help, was not called in to aid the department until Saturday.
"We received a call from a complainant letting us know about the dogs and at that time we got a call from the 911 center asking us to help the sheriff's office," Hollis said.
In June, Wilson said the dogs belonged to Cheryl Joy at one time and she left the area and had hired a caretaker to feed the dogs in the evening. He added that reports that the dogs were fighting each other were not true.
Hollis said she could not comment on the dog fighting reports, but said that the six dogs now housed at the shelter are doing well.
"They were fed, but all needed a good flea treatment and to be de-wormed," she said. "It's thanks to the neighbors that provided the dogs food that the six rescued are in such good shape."
The dogs are not available for adoption at this time, but Hollis said that Wilson will likely soon sign the five-day release for them. This release gives the original owner five days to claim the animal and after that time the pets can be adopted.
"The dogs are very nice and should easily find good homes," Hollis said. The daschund has some issues with people because it has not been around many humans, Hollis added.
Unfortunately, Hollis said, one of the Labrador retrievers may not be able to be adopted because of health reasons.
"He's probably about 15 years old and is full of tumors, probably cancer," she said. "It's a shame because he's such a sweet dog, but he's not doing too well."