Caroline MacGregor Published

Wallabies Among Animals Rescued From Sissonville Home In Child Neglect Case

A white wallaby sits in a cage
Three wallabies were among several animals rescued from a Sissonville home following a child neglect investigation.
Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association

The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association (KCHA) came to the rescue of more than three dozen animals in just one day this week, including several taken from the residence of a Sissonville couple accused of child neglect. 

Ronald Lantz and Jeanne Whitefeather were arrested on charges of child neglect Monday in a case involving their five adopted children. After Child Protective Services removed the children from the home, a number of animals were found at the couple’s residence. 

Among them, four dogs, two rabbits, two cats and three wallabies, at least one donkey and several llamas. 

Angie Gillenwater, community engagement director for KCHA, said in addition to the Sissonville case, a case from the west side of Charleston brought the total number of animals rescued Tuesday to 37.

“The hoarding case that we took, the Charleston case, those animals were in need of immediate medical attention,” Gillenwater said. “Those animals were really sick, but from Sissonville, the only injury that was going on was in transport, some of them were extremely scared and started harming themselves in their kennels, but other than that, those animals were in fairly good shape.”

The wallabies were sent to a West Virginia animal foster rescue center that specializes in taking care of marsupials. Gillenwater said they are safe and comfortable following their relocation.

On Thursday night, fourteen puppies were left outside the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association in a crate belonging to the nonprofit. 

“We have a great community that is always there to help us with supplies,” Gillenwater said. “But right now, just given the amount of animals we have taken in this week alone, we have pretty much depleted all of our supplies just trying to cover basic needs for everyone.”

Gillenwater said the no-kill shelter is gratefully accepting donations of Purina Cat Chow, wet food for dogs and cats, paper towels, gloves and trash bags. Toys are also welcomed.