5 News: Committed to you — animal abuse

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WESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) - In Weston, locals say they are upset by a lack of response from authorities to recurring animal abuse cases.

This cat is part of the Brogan's "trap and rescue" non-profit.

"Animals are being harmed, either killed or poisoned," said Weston resident Liz Garton.

"People are getting away with it because nothing is being done," said Nancy Funovitz, another Weston resident.

One couple in the town, Jill and Mark Brogan, recently started a non-profit program called "trap and release" that pays to spay and neuter wild cats in the area. Donations also pay for the cats to be worm and flea treated and for any other shots they may need.

Once the cats have been fixed, they are released back to where they came from. For the cats that are too sick or have been abused, the couple fosters them until they can find them a safe home. Since Labor Day, the couple has helped 112 cats.

"We're helping the community out to slow down the production of the cats and get them under control," said Mark.

Mark says that through their work, he and his wife constantly get reports of animals being abused, including animals that have been beaten, poisoned and even shot.

"People can defend themselves, but who's going to fight for the animals? So we decided, let's fight for them," Mark said.

According to Jill, some people are too scared to come forward when they see abuse, due to threats from the people hurting the animals.

The couple claims that the abuse cases are a huge problem but aren't being addressed properly by authorities.

"We do understand that the police can't respond to every phone call," said Mark.

He continued, "But this is happening and we do need more of a response and a little more effort."

Lewis County Animal Control Officer, John Snyder, said that they work to address each case, but also says that animal abuse can be hard to prove.

"If there's no witness that see something we didn't see, or they won't testify, then these cases are hard to prove," said Snyder.

Locals say that they would just like to see officials work with the community to put an end to the abuse.

"I would like to see people work together for the killing to be stopped," Garton said.

"We need to get the police involved and get the community involved to help," said Mark.