Forty dogs that were removed from a Delaware County property last week have been declared abandoned and forfeited to the care of the Delaware County Dog Shelter.

The 40 animals — all pit bulls or pit-bull mixes — were removed on April 7 from 7474 Kilbourne Road in Kingston Township. A witness had filed a statement with the Delaware County Dog Shelter, alleging abusive conditions. This signed statement enabled the staff there to obtain a warrant from Delaware Municipal Court and enter the property to remove the dogs. On April 11, a total of 30 charges were filed against the property owner Robert Phillips, Jr. The charges are for first-degree and second-degree misdemeanors involving “prohibitions concerning companion animals.”

A show-cause hearing was scheduled for April 17 in Delaware Municipal Court. Phillips failed to appear at the hearing. Municipal Court Judge Marianne Hemmeter then declared the animals abandoned. They are currently being housed and cared for at the county’s dog shelter and at the Humane Society of Delaware County’s facility.

“In terms of expediting safe and healthy outcomes for these dogs, this is the best case scenario we could have hoped for,” said Delaware County Dog Warden Mitchell Garrett. “If the property owner had shown up to contest the charges, this would have dragged out much longer.”

Garrett has previously stated that he anticipates most of the dogs will be transferred to the care of rescue groups, such as the Humane Society of Delaware County, with expertise in rehabilitating abused animals.

For more information about Delaware County’s Dog Shelter, please go to: