KEYSER - There was standing room only during the Mineral County Commission meeting on Wednesday morning, and many of the attendees were appealing to the three commissioners to extend the time now set for euthanizing cats held at the county animal control facility on Green Mountain.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - There was standing room only during the Mineral County Commission meeting on Wednesday morning, and many of the attendees were appealing to the three commissioners to extend the time now set for euthanizing cats held at the county animal control facility on Green Mountain.
Alison Nussear was first on the agenda to speak about her personal experience regarding her pet cat that was euthanized two hours before she realized he had been trapped and was at the animal control building.
She told the commissioners that “Walter” was one of three strays that she took in. She found homes for two, and kept the one, who had been neutered and wore a collar.
Nussear said her pet was an “inside and outside cat,” and she realized after several days of not seeing him, “He could be missing.”
By Friday of that week, “I called animal control at 9 a.m.,” she said, and was told, “Walter was put down at 7 a.m.”
“I appreciate the animal control officers answering my questions and their effort,” Nussear said, however, she wanted a change in procedures with cats that can be identified by the officers as being a pet and wearing a collar.
Wanting the time to change from three to five days before an animal is euthanized, she didn’t realize the next group scheduled to speak on this subject wanted the time to be seven days.
Dawn Billmyre was one those speaking on behalf of cat lovers in the commission room, and she said, “For the past 13 years, I have rescued hundreds and hundreds of cats.”
She wanted to clarify that the animal control officers were under the direct supervision of Drew Brubaker, county coordinator, saying to the commissioners, “And he answers to the commission.”
Billmyre said that years ago, she sought assistance from the county commission, but faced opposition from then commissioner Cindy Pyles.
“Now, we have three new commissioners,” she said, adding the quiet protest conducted outside the courthouse, complete with signs, and inside the commission room was being held to promote the holding time for the cats at the animal control building to seven days.
Billmyre offered another suggestion by saying that photos could be taken of the animals at the control facility and be distributed through “the Humane Society or to me,” to be identified by owners who may have lost animals.
C. Shreve, a resident of North Main Street, said that in the area of the Penn Ventilator building, “There are cats galore,” adding that the animals are multiplying so fast, “They are taking over Keyser.”
She asked the question, “What would happen if a someone or a small child would be bitten by one of those cats?”
Billmyre didn’t’ agree with the number given by Shreve, and said, “There are 30 cats, not hundreds,” while one of the people with the cat rescue effort, said, “All those cats have been spayed and neutered except two females.”
Local resident Nancy Haggerty said that she traps cats in her neighborhood, and then has them sprayed and neutered, also fostering them in her home.
Tiny Vanscoy asked the commissioners, “Would you be willing to set up a Facebook page for photos of missing cats?”
Lechliter told those in the commission room, “We will not pass an ordinance today,” but will look over the information given before any decision is made.
When the subject of rescuing cats had finished, another item was brought to the attention of the commissioners by Nancy Twigg, who lives on Route 46.
She said that a neighbor of hers owns two pit bull dogs, and they are not fenced in, but, “We have a fenced yard to protect my young grandchildren.”
Twigg said that she has placed calls to the animal control officer about the pit bulls running all over the neighborhood, and was told, “Get along with our neighbor.”