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Alleged animal abuse investigated in Weirton

Updated: Monday, August 11 2014, 06:29 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
HANCOCK COUNTY, .W.Va. -- According to dozens of claims on social media, a local business is involved in animal abuse. The crimes were allegedly happening in downtown Weirton at Ferguson Tire.
NEWS9’s Ryan Eldredge did some investigating of his own, and after walking around the property, he saw healthy cats in good condition, and nothing of the ordinary.
Owner Gene Ferguson said they’ve been there for 15 years – and so have the cats.
“Yeah and the cats have always been here,” Ferguson said. “We were told not to feed them because they're wild animals."
In fact, at least according to Ferguson, residents have been welcomed in to help.
"If you can see the conditions that the cats live in - we call it the cat condos - because they've been provided plenty of places to live,” Ferguson said. “What’s odd is if we’re accused of trying to decimate them, why would we have homes for them? I don't harm or move any of this. I didn’t put it there. For the cats’ benefits, it gives them some shelter. We don't promote it. We don't maintain it. It is what it is."
The Weirton Police Department says it didn't find credible evidence to substantiate the claims. And county officials haven't found anything to suggest that two cats were intentionally injured.
“There definitely has been incidences where cats have been hurt … but we definitely know there have been issues where a cat was hit by a car,” said Nichole Busick, dog warden and humane officer for Hancock County. “We'd like to think that it isn't intentional but at this point we're still looking into it."

Alleged animal abuse investigated in Weirton


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