Category Archives: SPCA

First State Animal Shelter/SPCA Proposes Public Contract Extensions

Controversy Remains By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In an apparent change of strategy, First State Animal Shelter/SPCA Director, Kevin Usilton, has proposed a one-year extension (to June 30, 2016) of all public animal control contracts in Delaware after previously announcing that they would be terminated by September 15, 2015. Currently, about 40 FSAS/SPCA animal control officers and other employees are scrambling to find new jobs in anticipation of the termination, as the State of Delaware moves to assume direct administration of animal control functions through the Office of Animal Welfare. Annual FSAC-SPCA annual contracts ranged as follows: Sussex County ($682,616), Kent County ($895,041.12), New Castle County ($1,035,000), Wilmington ($600,000), City of Dover ($40,000) and the Delaware Department of Public Health for rabies ($275,520) and cruelty reimbursement of ($106,000); Read more

First State Animal Shelter Terminates Public Animal Control Contracts

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Board of Directors of the First State Animal Shelter and SPCA (formerly known as the Kent County SPCA) has voted (14-1) on Monday, July 13 to terminate all public animal control enforcement contracts in Delaware, effective 15 September 2015. Instead, the organization (based in Camden, DE) will switch to an "animal rescue and no-kill shelter" operation. The board's decision potentially leaves a gap in related services in the event that various state, county and local officials do not formulate an alternative operational strategy. This includes setting up an animal shelter, training and outfitting of personnel, implementation of legal framework, administrative operations and soliciting bids. The Delaware Office of Animal Welfare recently announced that it would assume direct responsibility for animal control enforcement operations at an estimated Read more

Open Letter re: HB 204

Guest Opinion By: Doug Beatty Dear Representative Lynn, This citizen must take umbrage with your sponsorship of H.B. 204. On what planet is this a sound idea? The animal control officers at KCSPCA/FSAC have racked up an impressive history of unanswered complaints. At this very moment one Jacqueline Dyer of Hartly has publicy stated that Lt. David L. Hulse is retaliating against her for a drug test Hulse failed in 2006 administered by Dyer. After Dyer went public, she was criminally charged for dog at large on very shaky probable cause. In fact, in spite of evidence to the contrary according to Ms. Dyer and video from her home surveillance that she has made public. Anywhere I've lived except this place would call that retaliating against a whistle blower. Here, nobody cares how many officials know about this event it seems to always fall outside their responsibility. Giving Read more

Delaware Animal Control Reform Petition Available On-line

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer A Petition to Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Matt Denn et.al. to "Immediately investigate violations by and clarify authority of the contracted dog control agency, known as Kent County SPCA, First State Animal Center & SPCA, Camden SPCA and Delaware Animal Care & Control" is available on-line at: https://www.change.org/p/governor-jack-markell-attorney-general-matt-denn-delaware-governor-jack-markell-delaware-attorney-general-matt-denn-delaware-office-of-animal-welfare-delaware-s-148th-general-assembly-immediately-investigate-violations-by-and-clarify-authority-of-t . NOTE: This information was contributed by D. Meier in a comment regarding a previous article: “Talk Show Host Legally Challenges SPCA”. Read more

Saga of “Millie” Continues

by: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Dog Panel hearing in the Jake and Nancy Smith case, involving their pet, "Millie" is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, April 13 in the Sussex County Council Chambers, located on 2 The Circle in Georgetown, DE according to a 4/7/15 article in the Cape Gazette. "Millie", a white and brown Jack Russell Terrier mix, alleged to be a dangerous animal by a few of Smith's neighbors, is reportedly being held incommunicado at the First State Animal Shelter, located on 32 Shelter Circle, Camden, DE 19934. We are unable to confirm this due to a judicial gag order, issued in this case. The panel is charged with determining the dog's ultimate fate, up to and including possible euthanasia. Read more

** UPDATE ** Smith v. SPCA

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer A judicial gag order has been issued on all parties concerned in the case of litigation of John "Jake" and Nancy Smith (plaintiffs) against Delaware Animal Care and Control, filed in Delaware Superior Court over possible illegal impoundment of their dog, "Millie" under guise of authority. Attorney John Brady, representing the Smiths contends that the 1981 state statute that excluded Sheriffs and Sheriff's Deputies from certification as police offices by the Delaware Council on Police Training also did not include animal control officers as police officers. The litigation essentially argues that only sworn and certified police officers can legally execute arrest and search and seizure warrants under the present Delaware Code, Title 11, Chapter 19. Both Kent and Sussex Counties have contracted animal control services with the First State Animal Read more

Talk Show Host Legally Challenges SPCA

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In a legal effort to assert citizens constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure, well-known Delmarva radio personality and Milton area resident, Jake Smith has filed a legal challenge against Delaware Animal Care and Control. The action centers around the organization’s recent impoundment of his Jack Russell Terrier mixed dog, “Millie” after incidents with neighbor’s dogs. On 7/5/2012 in the first incident, Millie was attacked by one neighbor’s Yorkshire Terrier. A separate incident occurred involving another neighbor’s Yorkshire Terrier on 3/16/2015 in which he paid her resulting veterinary and medical bills, according to Smith, who was interviewed by Dan Gaffney on WXDE 105.9 FM, yesterday morning Subsequently, animal control officers continually visited Smith’s neighbor (involved in the first incident) on numerous Read more