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Elsmere woman charged with animal cruelty

Delaware Public Media

An Elsmere woman is charged with animal cruelty.

Officers from Delaware’s Animal Services enforcement unit responded to a Tuesday complaint concerning the welfare of animals on the property owned by Marybeth Stankevich.

When officers entered the home, they discovered 49 cats living in inhumane conditions. They also found four dead cats in the home. 

Stankevich was arrested and charged with 106 offenses, including 49 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, four felony counts of animal cruelty, 49 counts of failure to inoculate for rabies and one count of failure to store food and bedding protecting from spoilage and contamination.

She was arraigned in JP Court 11 in New Castle and released on her own recognizance.  

Stankevich is now prohibited from possession of domestic animals pending a court hearing. 

Code enforcement immediately condemned the home.

The cats found alive were transferred to the Brandywine Valley SPCA, where they have been receiving care and treatment. Most are under-socialized, so the BVSPCA is seeking placement as working cats once they receive evaluations and any necessary medical care.


Working cats live an independent life with basic care provided by the caregiver. Examples of environments for these cats include barns, warehouses, greenhouses, churches and studios.


Those interested in adopting should visit the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s New Castle Campus.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.