Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Angela Christine Acampora,25 Neglect of 31 exotic animals

Failling Waters, WV

Berkeley County

May 18, 2004  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
Misdemeanor writing bogus checks fish, 2 sea urchings, 2 hermit crabs, 2 sea anemones, 1 tree frog, 1 emperoror scorpion lixards, albino hedgehog ferrets cockatiels, a boa constrictor, an alligator & a snakehead fish Alleged Berkeley County Magistrate Court

Acampora, age 25 has been charged with keeping more than 30 exotic animals inside a mobile home without food or water. The animals were turned over to the Berkeley County Animal Control for custody.

Acampora was charged on August 2nd 2004 with 1 misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. When she did not appear in Berkeley County Magistrate Court for the preliminary hearing, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Henline asked that a warrant be issued for Acampora's arrest.

Acampora turned herself in and was arraigned on 30 additional charges of animal cruelty. Acampora told Assistant Prosecutor Henline she did not receive notice in the mail of the earlier hearing.

Acampora said she hadn't received a formal notice of an August 12th court hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

The U.S. Postal Service acknowledged that a substitute mail carrier had mistakenly returned mail to Acampora's address because previous residents had established a forwarding address.

A preliminary hearing was rescheduled for September 27, 2004. Acampora's bail was increased from $2,500 to $50,000, which she posted.

Several fish, 2 sea urchins 2 hermit crabs, 2 sea anemones, a tree frog, an emperor scorpion and a lizard that were seized from Acampora’s trailer have died, said Animal Control Officer Donna McMahan.

The surviving animals include an albino hedgehog, ferrets, cockatiels, a boa constrictor, an alligator and several kinds of fish and lizards. The surviving animals are being cared for at a local pet store.

Animal Control officers euthanized a confiscated snakehead fish, which is a threat to our ecosystems.

Although 32 animals were seized, 31 charges of animal cruelty were filed. Assistant Prosecutor Henline said Acampora could not be charged for the snakehead because it had to be destroyed.

Acampora previously told Animal Control officers that she was in Florida for a "legal emergency" and that she had only been gone for a week when the animals were seized. Acampora said a friend was supposed to take care of the animals while she was gone.

Two unrelated charges of writing bogus checks were also filed against Acampora. One of the checks was for more than $500, making the charge a felony.

If convicted for animal cruelty Acampora could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Reference:

The Charleston Gazette The Hagerstown Washington County Herald
Charleston Daily Mail