Mark Brogan, of Weston Friends of Ferals and Strays, is currently lobbying within the city, county and state to get stronger laws in place, which could prevent some acts of animal cruelty.
Recently Brogan met with the Lewis County Commissioners to see if there would be a possibility to accomplish a county animal shelter down the line, because of the overcrowding at the current Lewis-Upshur Shelter, which takes in animals from both counties.
Although Brogan was able to speak to the commissioners he said that he did feel unheard by some officials.
Brogan said that if more Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) groups were formed, this would decrease the shelter costs for the county and help the Brogans to be able to neuter/spay more cats and release them back into welcoming neighborhoods.
“Killing for space at a shelter is no reason to kill,” said Brogan’s wife Jill.
The main reason Brogan is currently trying to lobby for stronger law and more active enforcement is due to animal killings he has seen around Lewis County.
Brogan identified these areas in the county which he felt are unsafe for stray or loose animals: Locust Avenue, Eighth Street, Court Avenue, Shadybrook, the community behind TALA, W. 4th Street, E. 2nd Street, High Street, Town Run Road, Camden, Alum Bridge and some parts of Jane Lew.
“We need more TNR groups, more low cost vets and more people who want to help fix this issue of over population of cats humanely,” said Brogan.
Brogan said that if more people were involved, then more felines would be able to be fixed, which in turn would stop the breeding. Currently the Brogans have had 86 cats spayed/neutered and another 10 will be visiting the vet this week.
“There is a lot of animal cruelty happening in Lewis County involving dogs and cats,” said Brogan.
He said that there are some wonderful people in the city and county that have helped with the hurt animals, however more needs to be done to combat the issue.
“Once the government started allowing people to trap animals on their property, this led to more killings, this law needs to be changed. People will trap an animal, then instead of bringing them to the pound, they will dump them somewhere, throw them in the river or kill them another way,” continued Brogan.
One law/ordinance Brogan hopes to see passed is a tether law, which would regulate how long an animals is chained up outside during certain conditions such as snow and heat. Brogan said that Upshur County recently passed this type of legislation and hopes that Lewis County will follow suit.
The Brogans just purchased “The Mystery Machine”, a van painted similar to the one driven in the cartoon “Scooby Doo”. They purchase this van with their personal finances to be able to have a better way to drive the cats back and forth to the vet and to go pick up cats that are in unsafe neighborhoods.
The Brogans hope to be able to drive the van at various parades in town to raise awareness about their group and animal safety.