Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woman pleads no contest to misdemeanor count of cruelty

By Matthew Umstead, The Herald-Mail

A woman accused of allowing 24 dogs, two ferrets, 15 guinea pigs, about two dozen rabbits, a pot-bellied pig, a cockatoo and a cat to live in feces-littered conditions pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty on Tuesday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. Doreen J. Krekelberg, 52, of 152 Carlyle Road in Martinsburg, was fined $300 by Magistrate W. Randy Smith and ordered to pay $1,467.63 in restitution to Berkeley County Animal Control and court costs, according to court records.
Krekelberg, who was arraigned in September 2009 on five misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, is permitted to have two dogs, but otherwise is restricted from having animals, according to court records.
On Sept. 2, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department humane officers found two pit bulls loose in an addition of Krekelberg’s home, along with a rat that was 5 to 6 inches long “roaming the room,” according to a complaint that was filed in magistrate court.
There were puddles of urine and a large bag of feces on the floor and no food for the dogs, according to court records.
Other things observed were:
• The guinea pigs were found with two dead guinea pigs in a cage outside the home and the carcasses were in various stages of decay, according to court records.
• Four dogs found near the guinea pigs were in a kennel not sufficient for outdoor use and authorities found fur and multiple piles of feces in a second kennel where a beagle was found with a “patched” skin condition, according to court records.
• A white husky mix dog had its hip and backbone visible and the ferrets were found in the living room and appeared soiled and malnourished, according to court records.
• The cat had visible eye injuries and defects and was found loose on the property, according to court records.
• Four rabbits were found soiled and underweight and had matted fur, dead hair, sores and long nails, according to court records.
While the animals’ physical condition varied, authorities said most were found underweight and having some type of skin condition, unkempt coats, long nails and fecal contamination of both the skin and fur, according to court records.
Some insects were observed on the animals, according to court records.

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