Standing before officials this month, the target of Augusta County’s largest dog cruelty case called the state veterinarian’s investigation into his kennel an overreaction and a joke.
Three months after authorities seized 99 dogs from his Stuarts Draft kennel, Kyle Brydge asked to keep the permit that allows him to maintain his operation there. The Zoning Appeals Board postponed a decision for 30 days to seek more information.
Perhaps Brydge should have let sleeping dogs lie.
Before the board now is state Veterinarian Rachel Touroo’ 200-page report detailing flea infestations, blindness, dehydration, dental disease and malnourishment in the sometimes-pregnant, small-breed female dogs kept at Oak Leaf Kennel on China Clay Road.
Board members will consider that report, others from Augusta County animal control officers and prosecutors and a wave of letters from locals, animal-lovers and the Humane Society of the United States that beg the county to deny Brydge’s permit request.
“In one case, a dog’s leg was so badly matted with hair and feces that ... circulation appeared to be constricted,” wrote Justin Scally, manager of the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society’s Wilde Puppy Mills Task Force. He traveled to Stuarts Draft on Aug. 21, when the animals were seized. “The smell of the pus and infection ... was extremely overpowering ...
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