Officers from the Division of Public Health (DPH) Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) arrested a Camden-Wyoming woman on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in connection to a recent animal cruelty case, officials said Tuesday.
The arrest comes after a case of animal cruelty was discovered last week by the Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) unit, which enforces statewide animal control and cruelty laws. Acting on a tip, officers responded to investigate. DAS obtained and executed a search warrant to enter the property where animal welfare officers found 182 cats and one dog living in deplorable conditions. One deceased cat was also removed from the residence. Two additional cats have subsequently died.
The 184 animals that were seized from a Camden area residence were taken into custody by Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA), the state’s contracted shelter provider, where they received clean housing, nourishment, and medical care. Many cats suffered from conditions associated with neglect, such as malnourishment, skin issues from flea infestation, and upper respiratory infections.
Officials said Linda Favre, 65, was arraigned on 19 charges, including animal cruelty. She was released on her own recognizance pending a court hearing with the condition that she may not own or possess any animals until the case outcome is determined.
This is the largest animal cruelty case OAW has handled since taking over animal cruelty enforcement at the state level in 2016, and it is one of the largest in state history, according to officials.
“The conditions these animals were subjected to were horrid,” said DAS Chief Mark Tobin. “No animal should live like that, and unfortunately, three cats lost their lives as a result. We are grateful that this was reported so that action could be taken. We feel good knowing the animals are in good hands, and will not suffer any longer.”
According to BVSPCA, one dog and 118 cats have been placed for adoption or transferred to another shelter or rescue organization’s adoption program. Sixty-one cats remain available for adoption across the four BVSPCA campuses.
“If you’re considering adoption, I encourage you to visit a BVSPCA shelter near you,” said OAW Executive Director Christina Motoyoshi. “You can make a huge difference in the life of a cat that was once so neglected.”