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Letter to State Court Services | Alley Cat Allies Incorporated v. Berkeley County Animal Control

Legal Case Document| Animal Shelter, Anti-Cruelty
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Berkeley County Animal Control 1 is the governmental office within Berkeley County Council entrusted with the statutory duty of “prevent[ing] the perpetration or continuance of any act of cruelty upon any animal,” W. Va. Code§ 7-10-2(a), or, in other words, “personally see[ing] that the law relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals is enforced,” id. § 7-10-1. Animal cruelty laws of West Virginia make it a crime “for any person to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly … [w]ithhold … [m]edical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end the suffering of any animal.” Id. § 6 l-8-19(a)(l)(C)(iii) (emphasis added). These laws apply just as much to Berkeley County Animal Control as to any member of the general public whose violations are investigated by Berkeley County Animal Control, especially since it is the very public office created and entrusted to uphold them. Nonetheless, Berkeley County Animal Control routinely withholds necessary medical treatment from animals in its care and in so doing commits a separate act of animal cruelty each time. Alley Cat Allies brings this mandamus action to compel Berkeley County Animal Control to perform its nondiscretionary legal duty of preventing animal cruelty, in particular within its own office.