The owner of an animal rescue shelter as well as a caretaker have both been charged with several counts of animal cruelty after over two dozen dogs were found living in "deplorable" conditions inside the shelter last February.
The German Shepherds were pulled out of the Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue Inc. shelter back on February 22.
The property, located on West 10th Street, is a law firm as well as a licensed animal rescue shelter owned by Terry Silva. Marcus Hook borough officials along with the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers, obtained a search warrant and removed 28 German Shepherds from the building, including adults, a puppy and a pregnant female. They were brought back to the Pennsylvania SPCA headquarters for evaluation and treatment.
One elderly and severely ill dog had to be humanely euthanized while nine of the dogs tested positive for heart-worm which requires specialized care. One of the dogs was adopted while the others were transferred to various rescue groups for further rehabilitation and permanent placement.
Silva was charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty. Samantha Kenney, 28, who worked as a caretaker at the rescue, was also charged with 28 counts of animal cruelty.
In 2010, Silva was charged with several animal law violations connected to the interstate transport and sale of dogs.
“This case was especially egregious given that Silva was supposed to be operating a rescue organization,” said Jerry Buckley, CEO of the Pennsylvania SPCA. “It is only because of our supporters that the Humane Law Enforcement department is able to tackle such difficult situations of animal cruelty and continue to save lives.”
Marcus Hook Mayor James Schiliro says Silva has allegedly been abusing the dogs for about five years and is happy the dogs were finally rescued.
"I'm very happy along with everyone who has worked together with the borough to finally bring closure to this situation, especially because of the dogs. The dogs deserve better than this," said Schiliro.
The SPCA says Silva tried to sue them in the past after they seized neglected dogs from her.