Laurel Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

LAUREL (October 8, 2020) — Officers from the Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) announced the arrest Wednesday, October 7, 2020, of a Laurel woman for animal cruelty. Leona Long, 75, was arraigned in JP Court 3 in Georgetown on 77 charges, including 35 counts of cruel neglect, 35 counts of failure to obtain dog license, and seven counts for failure to vaccinate for rabies. Long was released on $37,000 unsecured bail and is prohibited from possession of domestic animals, excluding fowl and rabbits, pending a court hearing.

Last week, the OAW’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) enforcement unit responded to a complaint concerning the welfare of animals on the Laurel property. DAS executed a search warrant to enter the property, where officers discovered 35 hound dogs living in inhumane, filthy conditions in kennels covered in feces and on tethers throughout the owner’s property.

“It was obvious the animals had been neglected for some time, and suffered tremendously as a result,” said Mark Tobin, Chief of DAS. “To see their tails wag despite such a miserable environment is incredible. These dogs now have a fighting chance for a better future.”

The animals were transferred into the custody of the Brandywine Valley SPCA, the state’s contracted shelter provider, where they have been receiving care and treatment for eye infections, foot and ear injuries, and malnourishment. The dogs range in age from 6 months to 9 years, and will be put up for adoption.

To report animal cruelty in Delaware, call DAS at 302-255-4646.

Note: A photo of Leona Long is not available.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.