NITRO, WV (WOWK) –
UPDATE: 2/8/2018 @ 11:45 a.m
A Nitro, WV woman plead guilty and has been sentenced after 2 monkeys and more than 100 dogs were found in uninhabitable living conditions.
According to a spokesperson for Putnam County Magistrate Court, Melissa Jo Rucker plead guilty to five counts of animal cruelty.
She was sentenced to one year in jail, two years probation, and a $10,000 restitution fine.
She plans to appeal her sentence.
UPDATE: 5/19/2017 @ 9:15 p.m
A Nitro woman has been arrested on misdemeanor charges after dozens of dogs were seized last week at a puppy mill operation.
Melissa Jo Rucker, 49, of Nitro has been arrested on 47 counts of withholding proper sustenance necessary to sustain normal health and fitness to an animal.
Regarding their living conditions, Jon Davis, Director of the Putnam County Animal Shelter, says the dogs had mold growing on their food, feces in their water, and fecal matter in their matted hair.
Rucker’s husband told 13 News “it’s nothing but a witch hunt.”
Rucker is in South Central Regional Jail on $25,000 cash or property bond.
UPDATE: 5/10/ 2017 1:31 p.m.
Jon Davis, Director of the Putnam County Animal Shelter, says that in total, 58 dogs were seized from the Four Paws location in Teays Valley yesterday.
Regarding their living conditions, Davis says the dogs had mold growing on their food, feces in their water, and fecal matter in their matted hair.
Veterinary crews are still assessing the health of the dogs. Several animals had medical conditions that were not being properly treated.
Davis describes the location as “a mill.”
The Teays Valley animal seizure follows a search warrant executed yesterday where 61 dogs and 2 monkeys were found in uninhabitable living conditions at Missy’s Four Paws in Nitro.
This brings the total number of animals seized in the cross-county search to roughly 121.
Charges are expected to be filed after crews have completed assessing the animals.
13 News is on the scene as humane officials execute a search warrant at Missy’s Four Paws, an alleged puppy mill, in Nitro, WV.
The Kanawha Charleston Humane Association and Nitro Police Department are investigating.
It’s being reported that as many as 61 dogs and 2 monkeys are involved, and may be in need of medical care.
The Putnam County Animal Shelter is investigating Missy’s Teays Valley location as well.
Arrest warrants have not been filed at this time.
We will continue to update you as soon as more information is available.