Animal welfare seizes 35 dogs, charges Laurel woman with animal cruelty

October 8, 2020

A Laurel woman faces 35 counts of animal cruelty Oct. 7 after police say they found hound dogs living in filthy conditions on her property.

Officers from the Division of Public Health’s Office of Animal Welfare charged Leona Long, 75, with 35 counts of cruel neglect, 35 counts of failure to obtain dog license, and seven counts of failure to vaccinate for rabies. Long was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on $37,000 unsecured bail. She is prohibited from possession of domestic animals, excluding fowl and rabbits, pending a court hearing, said Sean Dooley, spokesman for DPH.

Dooley said the OAW’s Delaware Animal Services enforcement unit executed a warrant at Long’s property last week after receiving a complaint concerning the welfare of animals. Officers found 35 hound dogs living in inhumane, filthy conditions in kennels covered in feces and on tethers throughout the property, Dooley said.

“It was obvious the animals had been neglected for some time, and suffered tremendously as a result,” said Mark Tobin, DAS chief. “To see their tails wag despite such a miserable environment is incredible. These dogs now have a fighting chance for a better future.”

The animals were transferred into the custody of Brandywine Valley SPCA, the state’s contracted shelter provider, where they have been receiving care and treatment for eye infections, foot and ear injuries, and malnourishment. The dogs range in age from 6 months to 9 years, and will be put up for adoption.

To report animal cruelty in Delaware, call DAS at 302-255-4646. 

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