BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. — The president and founder of Alley Cat Allies is pushing back after Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon expressed his belief their recent petition regarding Animal Control in the county was an effort to gain a foothold in Berkeley County.

President and Founder Becky Robinson released a statement Wednesday saying prior to filing the writ of mandamus with the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, Alley Cat Allies had conversations about their concerns with the Commander, Patrol Division and Animal Control Division and others in Berkeley County Animal Control.

Robinson says they also visited the shelter on multiple occasions and even bought ‘multiple air conditioning units’ for the building during a period of ‘extreme heat’ in the Animal Control shelter during the summer.

“We believe that our investigation has uncovered a pattern of abuse, denying animals veterinary care and in some cases urgent medical treatment,” The state ment says. ” In fact, we took animals from Berkeley County Animal Control and we provided emergency veterinary care, for which we have exhibits in the writ of mandamus.”

“Our investigation has uncovered undeniable evidence of animal cruelty inside the Berkeley County Animal Control shelter, which is why we are seeking action from the state’s highest court. Berkeley County Animal Control’s failure to follow the law is causing extreme animal abuse and suffering. This is a case of the animal rescuer becoming the abuser.”

Sheriff Nathan Harmon has called the allegations of willful neglect at the shelter a fabrication, saying his Animal Control officers are dedicated to caring for the animals.

In their complaint to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the organization cited incidents of animals languishing for days in Animal Control without proper medical care, some resulting in the need for euthanization.