Virginia animal shelter could face criminal charges: 'Extremely hard to stomach'

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 18:18:45-05

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va. -- A state investigation into the Brunswick County Animal Shelter could result in criminal charges against the animal control officers at the facility.

The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet next week to vote on whether to allow the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department to take over the shelter after the State Office of Veterinary Services found multiple violations at the Lawrenceville shelter.

Those violations include:

  • The animals not appropriately fed
  • The facility not kept clean, dry, and sanitary
  • Adequate care not provided for seven dogs confined in the facility at the time of the inspection
  • Animals euthanized in a manner that does not comply with methods established by the state veterinarian

"They did a very thorough, detailed inspection and found numbers, numerous deficiencies," Brunswick County Supervisor John Zubrod, who represents the Meherrin District, said. “It's extremely hard to stomach. It just is not right to do that to the animals."

Animal rights advocate and shelter volunteer Rachel Hall met with county administration last October to express her concern over what she saw inside the shelter.

"I have pictures of the same feces being in the kennel for six days," she said. "I [said], by definition, you have animal cruelty going on in your shelter."

Brunswick Animal Shelter 04.png

Hall also alleged the shelter put down some animals that didn’t need to be euthanized.

"During a three-week period this last summer, to my best recollection, there were 16 dogs euthanized," she said. "Several of them we had rescues for."

In court on Thursday, the Brunswick Commonwealth’s Attorney and Sheriff’s Office were recused from the case due to their working relationship with the county government.

The judge appointed a special prosecutor for the case moving forward.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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