City leaders launch investigation into animal shelter

Published: Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 at 11:52 PM EST
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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - An investigation into the Petersburg Animal Shelter has begun. A councilman made the request following allegations of neglect and abuse.

Monday, Councilman W. Howard Miles met with the city manager to hash out the details of the investigation.

Myers is concerned with several reports of abuse, and poor living conditions in the shelter. He asks for immediate action if any of the allegations are true.

Shelter staff want every animal here to find a loving owner - but last week we found out a few never will. A litter of puppies was stillborn. When the news reached Councilman Myers, he acted immediately.

"It's time to strike while the iron is hot," said Myers.

He pointed out several problems, alleged animal abuse, lack of communication between rescue groups, and unsanitary living conditions; however, the facility was clean and animals had food and water when NBC 12 visited Monday.

The investigation will also tackle much-needed improvements some include: building a larger facility, educating people about spaying and neutering, and expanding staff and volunteers when needed. The incident last week happened overnight when no one was working.

"Time is of the essence when you have something as critical as puppies being stillborn," Myers said. "This investigation would allow me a very inside option to what is really going on in my absence so that we can correct whatever issues there are."

Councilman Myers wants a full report from the shelter addressing the allegations by February 25th. It's just one more step in the direction of providing these animals with a permanent home.

NBC12 reached out to the Petersburg Police Department. It oversees the shelter. A spokesperson is aware of the investigation and will be working with the city leaders to resolve the problem.

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