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Columbia welfare society board members arrested, charged with 50 counts of animal cruelty

Columbia welfare society board members arrested, charged with 50 counts of animal cruelty
Scott Pascucci, 48, left, 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 photos / Howard County Police Department)

Two board members at the Animal Welfare Society of Howard County in Columbia have been arrested and charged with 50 counts of animal cruelty each, including “causing pain and suffering,” Howard police announced Tuesday afternoon.

Police removed 165 animals from the nonprofit in May after they were found to be living in poor conditions.

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Scott Pascucci, 48, and Julie Mazurkiewicz, 46, were arrested Tuesday morning at their home in the 8500 block of Davis Road, across the street from the nonprofit. They were each released on a $25,000 bond.

The two were charged with failing to provide veterinary care to the animals, causing pain and suffering, and fostering unsanitary living conditions, police said. The 50 counts, which Pascucci and Mazurkiewicz face separately, are misdemeanors and each can carry up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

Police removed 165 animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and turtles. Many of the animals were found in poor health and were transferred to Howard’s Animal Control facility, where they received veterinary evaluations and care, police said.

While more than 100 animals have been adopted and “placed in good homes,” some of them “were too sick to survive and had to be euthanized,” police said.

“To our knowledge, there are no animals at the facility at this time,” police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said in an email.

A phone call to the Animal Welfare Society of Howard County on Tuesday went to voicemail and the mailbox was full.

Robin Deltuva, the former president and treasurer of the shelter, was sentenced to jail last August after admitting to stealing nearly $40,000 from the nonprofit to pay for a pink golf cart and personal legal expenses, as well as BMX bicycle racing trips, a truck and tanning sessions.

In April 2018, Deltuva pleaded guilty to a single count of theft between $10,000 and $100,000 and was ordered to repay the $38,584.33 she took.

No attorneys were listed in online court records for either Pascucci or Mazurkiewicz.

Warrants for their arrests were issued on June 13, and police “had been trying to serve the warrant, but were not able to locate them until today,” Llewellyn said.

The two are scheduled to appear in Howard District Court for trials on Sept. 5.

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