Wicomico Humane says designated State’s Attorney prosecutor is helping them enforce, understand laws
WICOMICO CO., Md. – The Wicomico County Humane Society and the County State’s Attorney’s Office say they are now working together, better than ever, to prosecute animal cruelty crimes.
“I think we’ve had a bad reputation because people have felt like we haven’t followed through,” says Kimberly Nock, the Executive Director of the Wicomico County Humane Society.
When Kim Nock took over the Wicomico County Humane Society last year, she admits their relationship with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office wasn’t strong. “So when I started as director I think one of my main issues was we didn’t really take animal cruelty that seriously, not that we didn’t take it seriously but we just didn’t have the means to move forward with a lot of the cases,” says Nock.
But she made it her mission to mend that relationship and roughly five months ago they were assigned a new prosecutor, Kyle Colbert, who she says has already change their trajectory. “He is helping our animal control officers with writing the charges and we have several cases in the works already,” says Nock.
State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes says these types of cases are complicated in their own ways requiring a wide variety of resources and legal counsel. “Animal cruelty, the laws are very technical and somebody that has had experience with those will benefit by virtue of having applied them in the past, what evidence is helpful to collect,” says Dykes.
Nock says she feels like this solid foundation may help them become more respected in the community as they develop a firm understanding of their role in enforcing the law.
“Now I think we’re all a lot more knowledgeable about our options, what we are able to do. We still have some situations where people want us to do things that we really don’t have the right to do but for the most part I think we are actually moving forward a lot more with the cruelty cases,” says Nock.
Neither the State’s Attorney or the Humane Society are in charge of making or changing animal cruelty laws. That’s why they’re asking people to contact their local lawmakers so they can push for harsher penalties.
The State’s Attonrey’s Office says the most common misdemeanor charge involves a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a one thousand dollar fine.
Wicomico County Humane Society also says the community serves as their eyes and ears. If you are suspicious about a possibly animal cruelty case you can call Wicomico County Animal Control 410-749-1070.