In a June 29 visit to Spade's shelter, a Martinsburg-area veterinarian reported seeing "numerous dogs exhibiting lameness, poor skin/haircoats and open wounds" in pens throughout a facility that had inadequate ventilation, horrible sanitation, inadequate water and food.
Not only that, but according to the Animal Control Officer for Berkeley County there were at least 4-5 dogs with untreated wounds the size of her hand. Some of the other dogs were lame, had ear mites and were suffering from shaking their heads and also had lacerations. There was one bowl of food that 60-80 dogs were found fighting over inside of a dilapidated trailer which was considered, by Mara Spade, their shelter.
A dalmation was being attacked by two other dogs which was also witnessed by the Animal Control Officer. This is proof of the statement, "the strongest will survive" as is the situation regarding the litter of puppies lying over to the side on a dirty blanket unable to get to the food because of other dogs fighting leaving them helpless and in great fear. This is unethical and it is neglect for EACH animal that had to endure this situation. Not just one, leaving me to ask why only one count of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor at that, has been applied?
West Virginia has not only a misdemeanor statute for animal cruelty, but also a felony which came into affect in 2003. The authorities need to start implementing these statutes and taking them seriously or else this state will continue to have problems with animal abuse and neglect and other people like Mara Spade. I implore you to make this right and prosecute Mara Spade to the fullest extent of the law and not let her off with a slap on the wrist.
Mara Spade knows what she has done is wrong but continued to run her so called rescue under such deplorable conditions. Mara Spade may have stopped some dogs from being euthanized, but what about the dog that was found within the acreage that died and suffered tremendously by dying slowly without medical treatment? He could have and should have been humanely euthanized, instead by a qualifying euth tech, and would not have had to endure the suffering that he did by Mara Spade's unethical and neglectful hands.
Do not allow her to continue to house animals ever again. It is not only not in her best interest but it is definitely in the best interest of the animals that will no longer have to suffer and try to survive for her to make a few dollars off of them.
We ask the state of West Virginia's judges, law enforcement agencies and attorneys to take this crime seriously and start utilizing the laws that are already in place regarding animal abuse. Without the authorities to uphold ANY law/statute, it is merely a suggestion to residents of this state, which continually leads to more tragic situations, such as with Second Chance Rescue. It will be a continuous cycle if not enforced immediately.Dogs and other animals have endured more than their share of torment and abuse. They are living, breathing beings and should be treated as so.
We ask that she be charged with one count of neglect and cruelty for each of the 149 dogs taken and one count for each of the dogs found deceased while under her care. We also ask that Mara Spade will never be allowed to own another animal or participate in any event,of that,which animals are involved.