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'Poor conditions' at Howard animal shelter prompt more than 100 animals to be removed

After receiving tips about “poor conditions” at the Animal Welfare Society of Howard County, county Animal Control officers have removed more than 100 animals from the nonprofit, police announced Friday afternoon.

A citizen reported Thursday there was foul odor, overcrowding and “a lack of cleanliness” at the Columbia-based shelter located in the 8500 block of Davis Road.

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Animal Control went to the shelter Friday and found animals in poor health and “in unacceptable conditions,” with filth and unsanitary conditions playing a factor, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn confirmed in an email.

Cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds have been moved to Animal Control to receive care and veterinary evaluations, police said.

The total number of animals cannot be confirmed at this time and there is no further information about their health, police said.

Once evaluated, Animal Control will determine which animals are healthy enough to be adopted.

The scene is still being investigated, Llewellyn said.

A call to a representative from the welfare society went unanswered and a message could not be left Friday afternoon.

Donations, including food, bedding and monetary contributions, can be dropped off at Howard’s Animal Control facility at 8576 Davis Road in Columbia.

In August, Robin Deltuva, the former president and treasurer of the welfare society, was sentenced to jail after admitting to stealing nearly $40,000 from the nonprofit to pay for a pink golf cart, airline tickets and personal legal expenses.

Deltuva had pleaded guilty last April to a single count of theft between $10,000 and $100,000.

She was sentenced to 18 months in the county jail, with a Howard judge suspending all but nine months. She also was ordered to repay the $38,584.33 she took.

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