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The charges reportedly stemmed from an incident where a cat was struck by a vehicle and was left untreated at the Nottoway County Animal Shelter. Merkh left the kitten untreated for five days after the animal had been hit by the car.
A shelter volunteer later offered to take the kitten to a vet and it was diagnosed with a badly infected leg wound, a fractured pelvis, and nerve damage. The kitten eventually had to be put down and after facing felony charges initially, Merkh was convicted of a misdemeanor and was fined $250.
The 55-year-old was acquitted on additional animal cruelty charges involving abandoned puppies after two of them died, but it was determined that Merkh was not responsible for those deaths.
According to reports this is the first time a Virginia Animal Control Officer was convicted of not taking care of animals under the control of a shelter.
Merkh no longer works for Nottoway County.