Severely emaciated dogs rescued in Delaware

This emaciated dog is one of 14 rescued from a property in Millsboro. (photo courtesy Delaware Office of Animal Welfare)

This emaciated dog is one of 14 rescued from a property in Millsboro. (photo courtesy Delaware Office of Animal Welfare)

More than a dozen neglected and dangerously skinny dogs were discovered over the holiday weekend in Millsboro.

On Friday, the Division of Public Health’s Office of Animal Welfare officers rescued 14 severely emaciated dogs thanks to a number of tips to Delaware Animal Services (DAS) and the state’s animal control and cruelty enforcement unit. Investigators arrested Atwood Timmons II of Millsboro. Timmons faces 18 charges of animal cruelty and multiple other charges concerning housing, care, rabies vaccination, and dog licensing violations.

“This is one of the worst neglect cases we have seen,” said Chief Mark Tobin, DAS investigative supervisor. “It was obvious that the dogs had not received any care in a long while, and the conditions in which they were kept was appalling.”

During the rescue operation, officers discovered four dead dogs on the Millsboro property where there was no evidence of food or water for the animals.

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Officials also said most of the emaciated animals were in need of immediate medical attention. Some were infested with parasites, while others suffered from injuries after trying to escape their confinement. Not all of the dogs were in confinement on the property hidden in a wooded area. Many were running loose.

“This case involved a tremendous amount of teamwork and we want to thank the Good Samaritans who first reported the case and the Sussex County Constable Office for assisting in the initial hours of the incident. We know the dogs are in good care now at Brandywine Valley SPCA,” Tobin said.

All dogs are currently receiving medical and rehabilitative care.

“These dogs will have a long road to recovery ahead of them,” says Adam Lamb, Chief Executive Officer of BVSPCA. “We are committed to providing individualized care to each one of them.”

The Brandywine Valley SPCA is accepting donations from anyone who would like to contribute to the animals’ rehabilitation and care and also hoping to find homes for the animals after they recover.

The state takes animal cruelty very serious and officials are urging people to continue to report such cases to the Delaware Animal Services 24-hour hotline at 302-255-4646.

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