Dog Lovers Fight to “Free Chuckie”

Dog lovers across the country have banded together to reunite Chuckie with his owner.

The 10 year old yellow lab broke through the fence of his Bear, Delaware home last Wednesday. He was taken to the First State Animal Center and SPCA (FSAC & SPCA) in Kent County. A day after, his picture was posted on the FSAC & SPCA Facebook page with the caption “Where o where are my owners? I have been Hit By A Car and need help."

Through social media, the owner, who did not want to be identified, was located.

The owner contacted FSAC & SPCA to arrange to pick up his pet and was told to present documents verifying proper rabies vaccinations, licensing and documentation of prior medical treatment by a veterinarian. The owner also was told of $386.10 in veterinary and boarding charges he would need to pay in order to collect his dog. Hope for Delaware Dogs, a community group on Facebook that seeks to help dogs in Delaware shelters, started a fundraiser to help the owner meet these costs.

However, when the owner contacted FSAC & SPCA last Friday to collect his dog and present the requested paperwork, the Director of FSAC & SPCA Kevin Usilton allegedly told the owner to "tell whoever was raising the money to stop” and that the owner “will not be getting his dog back.” Usilton also allegedly threatened to euthanize Chuckie in a conversation with the owner.

As of today, Chuckie is being held by the FSAC & SPCA and an active warrant for the owner has been issued on charges of animal cruelty and neglect for failure to seek proper veterinary treatment.

The owner states that based on the information he has been given by FSAC & SPCA, Chuckie was never hit by a car as was stated in the Facebook post. Also, the owner says his dog has suffered from an anxiety disorder his entire life that results in him creating self-induced sores on his back legs from excessive licking. The owner states that Chuckie has been treated by a veterinarian for this condition and that his wounds receive regular medical attention.

A petition has been created on calling for the immediate release of Chuckie, and requests for intervention have been sent to local D.E. elected officials.

“Chuckie is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog,” his owner states. “This is a ridiculous situation that needs to be put to rest.”

The First State Animal Center and SPCA say that Chuckie is being treated, but because his case is a part of an open investigation by Delaware Animal Care and Control they cannot comment at this time.

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