Owners of Alleged Wicomico County Puppy Mill Indicted - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Owners of Alleged Wicomico County Puppy Mill Indicted

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Robert and Susan Murphy Robert and Susan Murphy
Rescued dog from alleged puppy mill in Eden. (Photo: WBOC) Rescued dog from alleged puppy mill in Eden. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- In Wicomico County, a couple accused of running a puppy mill out of their Eden home have been indicted. 

Robert and Susan Murphy each faced 84 charges - including animal cruelty - after more than 300 dogs were found on their property in April of last year.

Interim Wicomico County State's Attorney Ella Disharoon said Monday that her office successfully added several felony counts of torture to the long list of charges filed against the couple. Disharoon said of the nearly 100 counts in this case, torture was added due to "unnecessary suffering and lack of veterinary care, nutrition and adequate living space for the dogs." 

Disharoon said that because Murphy's were indicted in Wicomico Circuit Court, the case will now move forward there. 

The Murphy's were taken into custody last July at their home on Cooper Road in Eden. Their arrests came nearly three months after police removed 310 dogs, a majority of them Pomeranians, from their property. According to court documents, the couple was running a puppy mill operation from their home. 

Investigators said the dogs were found to be living in deplorable conditions.  Many of them living in cages surrounded by their own fecal matter with severely matted fur. Ten dogs were found in one building, 24 in another, 110 dogs found in a third building, and 166 were removed from the the couple's home. According to police, the dogs in the third building were not provided with adequate water, shelter, or space. Investigators said that inside the Murphy's home, the air quality was so poor it burned the eyes and noses of the responding officers.  Police said there was a strong smell of urine and feces in the home and the dogs inside were also not provided with adequate water, shelter, or space.

Many of the rescued dogs from the Cooper Road property required veterinary and cosmetic care before the would be available for adoption.  After their rescue, the community rallied behind the pups and flooded the Humane Society of Wicomico County with donations for the dogs.

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