COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Two board members who oversaw operations at the non-profit Animal Welfare Society in Columbia have each been charged with 50 counts of animal cruelty after 165 animals were found to be living in poor conditions in May.

Scott Pascucci, 48 and Julie Mazurkiewicz, 46, both of the 8500 block of Davis Road, were charged with failing to provide veterinarian care to the animals, fostering unsanitary living conditions and causing pain and suffering.

Courtesy: Howard County Police

Howard County Animal Control officers removed the animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and turtles, May 10 after receiving a tip about overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and a foul odor at the facility in the 8500 block of Davis Road.

Police said that they found 165 animals living inside the adoption center in unsanitary conditions.

“When our animal control officers went inside, they found very unsanitary conditions,” Howard County Police Spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn said. “A lot of overcrowding, a lot of animals in poor health not being cared for at all.”

Neighbors said that they could smell the foul odor from inside, down the street.

“When they were cleaning it out, the smell was ungodly,” a neighbor told WJZ. “You could smell it across the street. This entire area was just fowl with animal droppings and whatever else was there.”

Many of the animals removed from AWS were in poor health. They were transferred to the county’s Animal Control facility to receive veterinary evaluations and care, in the hopes that some would be well enough to be adopted.

However, some of them were too sick to survive and had to be euthanized.

Pascucci and Mazurkiewicz were arrested at their home Tuesday morning and each has been released on $25,000 bond. Each of the 50 counts could carry up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

More than 100 have already been placed in good homes and others are still available for adoption.

Those who are interested in adopting can click here.

You can click on “Adoptable Dogs” for Socks, Jumps, Champ and Margie, or “Adoptable Cats” for Bluebell, Baker, Sage and Punkin’ Head.

All of the animals available for adoption are from the AWS.

Kelsey Kushner


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