Animal neglect complaint dismissed

Shelter head faces theft charge in separate case

February 28, 2010|By Larry Carson

A complaint of animal neglect has been dismissed against Robin Deltuva, director of the private Howard County Animal Welfare Society.

The decision - involving a Chihuahua named Jay-Jay that a volunteer at the shelter felt was near death - was made because of a lack of evidence, according to the five-page decision of the county's Animal Matters Hearing Board released Thursday.

"This is a matter in which the board believes the evidence is evenly balanced on the issue of whether or not Robin Deltuva committed animal cruelty," the decision said.

Deltuva, 36, still faces criminal theft charges in a separate case involving the shelter she runs on Davis Road in Ellicott City, next to the county's public shelter. Deltuva lives on the property.

"I'm ecstatic," Deltuva said after learning of Thursday's decision.

In the case, former center volunteer Kerrie Ater of Catonsville said she found the small dog so listless that he could not raise his head Aug. 6, a few days after he was returned by a family who had adopted it.

Ater said she was so alarmed that she rushed the animal to a Catonsville animal hospital. The dog survived, and she adopted it. The veterinarian who treated the dog said he was in critical condition when he arrived.

Deltuva said the dog was emaciated when it was returned, and she and her staff had been nourishing it, not neglecting it. Shelter employees backed her, as did Dr. Joseph Mancino, a veterinarian who visits the shelter twice a week.

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