BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland couple is in big trouble as they face 84 counts of animal cruelty. Three months ago, more than 300 dogs were rescued from what the sheriff calls egregious conditions on the couple’s property.
Marcus Washington has more on this case that shocked even the sheriff’s
Those deputies are used to seeing a lot of situations but they say these were unbelievable.
This was the day many in Wicomico County wanted to see: Robert and Susan Murphy in handcuffs, charged with animal cruelty.
On April 6, the Humane Society and the sheriff’s office rescued 310 dogs from four buildings on the Eden property. Those involved in the rescue say it was a difficult day.
“Straight smell of ammonia. My eyes burned; it was that bad that we had to go in and out of the house, taking shifts and breaks because our eyes were burning so bad,” said Aaron Balsamo, Wicomico County Humane Society.
Dogs were crated in things like child’s playpens, plastic tubs and living in their own feces with extremely matted fur.
“There were also the remains, the skeletal remains of many dogs located in these outbuildings, as well as many puppies who had actually gnawed their own limbs off their bodies. There were many dogs who were found in very deplorable and egregious health conditions,” said Sheriff Mike Lewis.
According to court documents, Susan Murphy told police she did not know how many dogs were on the property. When police asked about cleaning up and taking car of the animals, Murphy told police she tried but “it was just too much.”
Murphy also told police that she and her husband owned all of the dogs and she was breeding and selling the dogs for $350 to $500.
“This was a case that honestly, quite frankly shocked our conscience. We had never seen anything like it. To see these precious dogs in that condition they were found, I’ve certainly never seen anything like it,” said Lewis.
It took rescuers 14 hours back in April to remove the dogs from the property.
Out of the 310 dogs rescued, only one had to be euthanized. It’s not clear if the Murphys have lawyers.