Support Rolling In For Recovered Dogs In Wicomico; Animal Cruelty Charges Likely

SALISBURY — One week after 300 poorly cared for dogs were rescued from a farm in Wicomico County, the outpouring of donations, supplies and love for the animals continued this week, but no charges have yet been filed against the owner while the investigation continues.

Last Wednesday, Wicomico County Animal Control and the Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in Eden and began removing 300 small dogs, most of them Pomeranians, from the property. The dogs were in various stages of poor health and housed in deplorable conditions. About 200 of the dogs were found in a barn, while another 100 were found inside the residence.

The Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office is investigating and animal cruelty charges are likely pending. State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello and Wicomico County Humane Society Director Aaron Balsamo held a press conference at the shelter on Wednesday. While the investigation is ongoing and much of the evidence has not yet been made public, the primary concern for now is the health and welfare of the 300 dogs.

To that end, in the days since the grim discovery was made and the dogs were rescued, the local area in typical fashion has rallied for the dogs and their keepers. Tons of supplies have already been donated to the Wicomico County Humane Society, but much more is still needed. Humane Society officials on Wednesday said they are no longer in need of bagged dry dog food, but still need wet canned food and dog and puppy treats.

The organization is also still in need of cleaning supplies, including the Fabuloso cleaner, gallons of bleach and spray bleach cleaner, paper towels, liquid dishwashing soap and liquid laundry detergent. The Humane Society said it no longer needs any newspaper, but still needs puppy pads for lining kennels. Of course, monetary donations are welcome and encouraged to help offset the costs of caring for the animals including veterinary expenses.

“At this time, Animal Control is finishing up the required legal documentation under the direction of the State’s Attorney’s Office,” a statement from the Humane Society of Wicomico County released on Wednesday reads. “Most of the dogs have been released to the Humane Society and we are in the process of making the needed transfers to other Humane Societies to enable us to get to a manageable shelter population.”

The Humane Society said it appreciated the outpouring of love and support for the mistreated dogs and urged the public to remain patient as the organization wades through the process.

“We understand people are anxious to adopt,” the statement reads. “Please just monitor our website and the dogs will be placed there as available for adoption. It takes time to medically process, microchip, spay and neuter and vaccinate the animals. At present, we are not in need of any additional transfer partners.”

The Humane Society of Wicomico County has transferred some of the dogs to other shelters and facilities in the area to relieve the burden of suddenly being inundated with 300 dogs and to expedite the recovery process. Earlier in the week, it was reported some of the dogs had been transferred to the Worcester County Humane Society, but the local organization said it had not yet received any of the animals although it expected to soon.

“Once they have been evaluated and tended to, we expect to have some of these dogs in and will let you know when we do,” a statement reads. “However, we are asking that everyone direct their attention to the Wicomico County Humane Society with supplies and monetary donations.”

The Worcester County Humane Society is assisting its neighboring agency with the collection of supplies, food and other donations, however.

“We have been informed that they are in need of canned food and monetary donations for vet care,” the statement reads. “The community outreach has been amazing and we are so happy to be part of such a wonderful community. Know that any donations that have been made already for these dogs will be taken to the Wicomico County Humane Society. We are also accepting donations for them as well and will be taking any made to them.”

Donations of food and cleaning supplies can be dropped off at the Humane Society of Wicomico County on Citation Drive in Salisbury from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

Monetary donations can be made to the organization’s website at using the Pay Pal link. The organization is encouraging donors to use only their website to ensure the funds come directly to the Wicomico County Humane Society of the overwhelming expense of medications, grooming and other care for the animals.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.