West Va. man charged with felony sexual animal abuse

(MGN Online)

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- Angels of Assisi says it is assisting the Humane Society of the United States in an animal sexual abuse case in Wyoming County, West Virginia.

They wrote that the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office in West Virginia has filed for felony animal abuse cruelty charges against Victor Zandlo of Brenton for suspected animal sexual abuse, as well has for removing Zandlo's remaining animals.

The remaining animals arrived at the Angels of Assisi Friday night to begin veterinary treatment and rehabilitation.

The organization said the case began when Zandlo's stepdaughter brought a dog named Grace to the Wyoming County Paw Patrol Rescue, a local animal rescue in West Virginia, last week because the dog had severe injuries.

Paw Patrol took Grace to the Washington Area Animal Adoption Group, she she got urgent veterinary care.

Tragically, Grace had to be euthanized because her injuries were to severe.

Paw Patrol alerted the Humane Society of the United States of suspected sexual abuse and the humane society contacted law enforcement and worked with Lt. Scott Cook on pursuing felony charges.

While serving Zandlo with an arrest warrant, police removed nine other dogs from his home, according to Angels of Assisi, and more charges are pending.

The prosecution of animal sexual abuse cases in West Virginia is rare because it is one of only eight states that don’t ban animal sexual abuse.

“Grace suffered such horrendous bodily injury that felony animal cruelty charges could be applied, but animals should not have to endure this much pain and suffering before meaningful penalties can be charged for sexual assault,” said Heather Severt, West Virginia state director for The HSUS. “We’re calling on the West Virginia legislature to enact a strong animal sexual abuse law and not allow this type of blatant animal cruelty in our state.”

The Humane Society of the United States is helping provide financial assistance to Washington Area Animal Adoption Group and Angels of Assisi to assist with the veterinary costs incurred.

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