Two charged in Lewes animal cruelty case

Anonymous tip alerted officers
August 28, 2023

A Lewes couple faces dozens of animal cruelty counts in connection with an Aug. 8 raid on their Lewes home where officials say they found more than 30 dogs in poor condition. 

The couple was found Aug. 25 in an SUV parked on Route 1 near Rehoboth Beach with another 14 dogs, said officers with the Office of Animal Welfare, which has been investigating since the Aug. 8 raid.

Officials say the vehicle was full of trash, feces and debris. The 14 dogs were seized by animal welfare officers and transported to Brandywine Valley SPCA for care. 

Officers arrested Dillon Hensey, 32, and his wife, Chelsie Puckett, 33, and charged them with misdemeanor animal cruelty – 29 counts for Hensey and 14 counts for Puckett. They are prohibited from owning or possessing animals pending resolution of the case, officers said.

Both were released on unsecured bond, Hensey at $14,500 and Puckett at $7,000.   

Hensey had been wanted for abandoning dozens of small-breed dogs in deplorable conditions in a Lewes home in early August. He failed to turn himself in to Delaware Animal Services enforcement officers on multiple occasions, officers said. 

The 34 dogs seized Aug. 8 were turned over to BVSPCA’s care, officials said. Thirty of the 34 dogs have been adopted, and four are in foster care. Officials said BVSPCA hopes to make some of the 14 dogs recently seized available for adoption, possibly by Aug. 30. 






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