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DHSS Press Release

Josette Manning, Secretary
Laura Matusheski
DPH Media Relations Coordinator Contact:

Date: February 1, 2023


FELTON, Del. (Feb. 1, 2024) - Animal welfare officers rescued 76 animals from a mobile home in Felton on Monday, January 29, after being found living in cramped, unsanitary conditions. The Office of Animal Welfare (OAW)'s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) received a call from Delaware State Police at approximately 2:00PM Monday about a potential animal cruelty case. Animal welfare officers arrived at the home to investigate, discovering 66 small breed dogs, 9 cats and 1 bird living in inhumane conditions. The dogs were found huddled together in cramped rooms covered in feces, urine and filth. None of the dogs were sterilized and continued to reproduce, ranging in age from newborn to senior.

Officers safely removed the animals from the trailer and transported them to Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA)'s Animal Rescue Center in Georgetown, where they are receiving care and being assessed by the rescue center's medical teams. The animals showed varying degrees of medical issues with some being underweight, others suffering from skin or eye issues, and all infested with fleas.

"No animal should have to live like this," said DAS Captain Rebecca Stratton. "Thankfully we were alerted in time to prevent further neglect and remove the animals from the horrible conditions they were forced to endure."

The investigation by DAS is ongoing and criminal charges are pending.

"Our team has been working around the clock since these animals came into our care late Monday," said Brandywine Valley SPCA CEO Adam Lamb. "We will continue to work with them and provide medical care and rehabilitation until we can place them in the forever homes they each deserve."

The BVSPCA is asking for the public's assistance in meeting this emergency need. To find out how you can help, visit

Reporting Animal Cruelty

Cruelty and neglect of animals is against the law ( If you are concerned about an animal's welfare and suspect cruelty or neglect, contact OAW's Delaware Animal Services immediately at 302-255-4646 or report online at



The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation.

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Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.