- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2007

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Northern Virginia man who reportedly dumped more than 70 dead dogs, cats and other animals from a pet crematorium on national forest lands in West Virginia has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Ronald Lee Henry Jr., 39, of Woodstock, could get 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of willful depredation of the George Washington and Jefferson National forests, said U.S. Attorney Sharon L. Potter.

The indictment handed up earlier this week in Elkins, W.Va., states the dumping of “carcasses and related trash” occurred Dec. 30, 2005, along a road in Hardy County.

JoBeth Brown, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service in Roanoke, declined comment on the case yesterday, but Hardy County Sheriff Robert Ferrell said Mr. Henry was working for a crematorium at the time.

“Instead of burying or cremating the dear little darlings, he was dumping them alongside the road,” Mr. Ferrell said.

Many animals were also dumped in neighboring Hampshire County, Mr. Ferrell said, but the indictment focuses on only one location.

Russell D. Harman, owner of Family Pet Cremations in Chantilly, acknowledged Mr. Henry was working for him as a subcontractor at the time but declined to comment on the indictment.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” he said yesterday.

The animal carcasses were found in large piles — some in boxes, some in bags, some still with intravenous tubes and other medical equipment attached to their bodies.

At the time, a spokeswoman for the crematorium said Mr. Harman had hired the subcontractor after his crematory equipment stopped working.

Mr. Harman also issued a written statement then, vowing to review his “outsourcing policies and procedures to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”

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