Past Animal Cruelty Charges for Eden Property Owners - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Past Animal Cruelty Charges for Eden Property Owners

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Rescued Wicomico County Dog (Photo: WBOC) Rescued Wicomico County Dog (Photo: WBOC)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - No arrests have been made or charges filed in the Wicomico County rescued dog case, however the owners of the property where the dogs were rescued from have faced animal cruelty charges in the past.

According to tax records, Robert and Susan Murphy own the property on Cooper Road in Eden where police and animal control officers rescued 310 dogs last Wednesday.

The Murphys also own a property on Dailsville Road just west of Cambridge.  According to court documents obtained by WBOC, the Murphys were accused of animal cruelty in 2009 after a welfare check at their Dorchester County home.  Those court documents state an animal control officer removed 15 dogs and three cats from the Dailsville Road house.  The documents state the animals were living in filth and were in rough condition.  A similar circumstance for the dogs which were rescued recently in Eden.

Robert and Susan Murphy were acquitted of their animal cruelty charges in 2009.  However, during the investigation in 2009, the animal control officer documented the Murphys had left the Dorchester County residence and moved to Eden.  In the 2009 statement of charges, the officer documented that she had reached out to the Wicomico County Humane Society and said Robert and Susan Murphy had moved to Wicomico County and had plans to continue breeding and selling dogs.  The Dorchester County Animal Control officer also noted a Wicomico County animal control officer did check on the Eden property and found no violations but would continue to monitor the situation.

About two years later, as WBOC reported on Wednesday, neighbors on Cooper Road in Eden began to make complaints about the noise, specifically the constant barking, coming from the Murphys' property.

Now in 2016, 310 dogs needed to be rescued last Wednesday.  There are still no arrests or charges in the Wicomico County case, however, if charges are filed, Salisbury Defense Attorney William Hall said animal cruelty is a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a fine.

"But, with this many animals, they can still be looking at a substantial jail sentence," Hall said Thursday.  "Because each one of those county would be an individual count per animal.  So if you have 300 animals at 90 days a piece, that adds up very quickly."

The Wicomico County State's Attorney said Wednesday charges could be filed within the next six weeks.

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