Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19436
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull)
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Monday, Mar 5, 2012

County: Sussex

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Mary A. Carey

A Sussex County woman is facing new animal cruelty charges in addition to charges filed against her in January.

Delaware SPCA agents received a complaint March 5 that Mary Carey was keeping cats and dogs in crates on a property at 20945 Orchard Road, Ellendale, said Maj. Brian Whipple, operations officer for animal control.

Carey, 62, was at the property when officers arrived, and told them the 10 cats, five kittens and two dogs were hers, Whipple said.

Her arrest follows on the heels of a similar raid at a Milford home in which SPCA officers seized 25 dogs living in crates.

In both instances, the dogs and cats were dehydrated and living in small crates, said Mary Ann D'Amato, community partnership coordinator for Delaware SPCA.

They were covered in urine and feces, she said.

"One calico's coat was stained yellow," she said.

Carey was prohibited from owning pets following her January arrest. Whipple said he believes the animals found recently were on a friend's or family member's property. He was unsure where Carey currently lives. Her previous residence on Bakerfield Road in Milford was demolished, Whipple said.

"She moves around to different places," he said.

Carey was charged with 13 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, animal husbandry violations and breach of release. This is in addition to the 13 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and 80 animal husbandry charges she faces from January.

She was released on unspecified conditions and ordered not to own or possess animals until the cases have been adjudicated, D'Amato said.

In the meantime, the animals are housed at the Kent County SPCA. D'Amato said Carey has not relinquished custody of the animals. The animals cannot be put up for adoption until she does so or the courts order it.

"It's a shame, because most of the dogs are small, highly adoptable dogs," she said.

Most of the dogs are Pekinese or Papillion mixes, but there are some lab and pit bull mixes, too.

A Cape Gazette article from Feb. 21, 2003, detailed volunteer efforts to remove 68 neglected dogs and cats from a Cedar Creek property near Milton. Carey had been evicted from the property, but left her animals there, returning every few days to check on them. Carey said she tried to keep the animals fed, but she admitted she had limited funds to buy pet food.

A court order required Carey to find homes for her animals by Feb. 14, 2003, or they would be taken and euthanized. Area animal rescue groups removed the animals that day.


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