43 dead dogs found, 31 more seized on Sunday, Oct. 8.

UPDATE: Officers from the Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare arrested 56-year-old Donald Eileander, of Seaford, without incident on Friday, Oct. 13, in connection with a recent case in which 32 neglected animals were rescued from a residence in the Seaford area.

Eilander was arraigned on 449 charges, including felony animal cruelty, and later released on bail. 

The arrest comes after a case of animal cruelty was discovered last week by the Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services unit, which enforces statewide animal control and cruelty laws. Acting on a call to the DAS dispatch line, officers obtained and executed a search warrant to enter the property, where they found 43 deceased dogs and rescued another 32 animals, many of which were severely ill.

Thirty-one dogs and one cat were taken into custody and transported by DAS officers to an emergency veterinary hospital. One dog had to be euthanized, and another has since died. The remaining 29 dogs and one cat continue to recover at Brandywine Valley SPCA, the state’s contracted shelter provider.

Of the survivors, all but a few of the animals were severely emaciated and malnourished, and suffering from various other health concerns as a result of their neglect. Mostly small dog breeds, their fur was matted so badly they could not move. The animals have since been groomed and are on a special feeding program. They will be placed for adoption once they have fully recovered and been medically cleared.

“The inhumane conditions that we found the animals in was absolutely appalling and is inexcusable,” said Mark Tobin, Chief of Delaware Animal Services. “It’s a miracle any of the animals survived, and we are grateful we could get there in time for those that needed help so desperately.” 

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UPDATE: The Brandywine Valley SPCA took 31 dogs and one cat into its care on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, after Delaware Animal Services seized them from a Seaford residence. 

Following a tip about a property with neglected animals, DAS executed a search warrant and found approximately 43 dead dogs and 32 surviving animals, all suffering from severe emaciation. The surviving animals were seized by DAS and transferred into the care of the BVSPCA at the scene.

The dogs in this case include a variety of small breeds, such as Bichon Frise, Shih-Tzu, Pekingese and terriers, along with two standard poodles. They range in age from two to ten years old.

Five dogs were found to be in stable condition were transferred to the BVSPCA Georgetown Campus for evaluation and care. The remaining 27 severely ill animals were taken for emergency veterinary care. One of those animals had to be euthanized. 

The investigation is ongoing and charges from the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare are forthcoming.

“Conditions at the property were horrific,” said BVSPCA CEO Adam Lamb. “It’s remarkable to see how friendly and trusting these dogs remain after everything they’ve been through. We’re doing everything in our power to help them recover and hope to have the opportunity to help them find loving forever families.”

Donations can be made at www.bvspca.org/seaford32 or by mail to: Brandywine Valley SPCA, 22918 Dupont Boulevard, Georgetown, DE 19947.

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On Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, the Delaware Division of Public Health Delaware Office of Animal Welfare received a tip about a property in the Seaford area with neglected animals. After visiting the site and obtaining a search warrant, Delaware Animal Services, the state’s animal control and cruelty enforcement unit, found approximately 43 dead dogs and took into custody another 32 animals, including 31 dogs and a cat.

Of the animals seized, 27 were severely ill and were taken for emergency veterinary care, where one had to be euthanized. The surviving 31 animals are recovering at Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Georgetown campus for further medical care and sheltering.

The investigation is ongoing and charges will be forthcoming. The Office of Animal Welfare urges anyone with information on this case or to report possible animal cruelty to call 302-255-4646. OAW enforces animal cruelty, animal control and rabies laws within the State of Delaware.

The Division of Public Health would like to thank Brandywine SPCA, the Seaford Fire Department and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for their help and support at the home site.