Case against former owner continues

After briefly considering returning the funds to donors, Nicholas Lee, of Nicholas Lee Guitars in Rehoboth Beach, has opted to give the Brandywine Valley SPCA a portion of the money he raised to support neglected dogs seized in Georgetown over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.

Using a GoFundMe account, Lee raffled off 14 custom-made guitars, one for each of the dogs seized by animal control from the property of Atwood Timmons Jr. He raised over $16,000 to benefit care and rehab at BVSPCA, foster homes, rescue groups and the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare.

The fundraiser ended on New Year’s Day. In an effort to properly allocate the money, on Jan. 17, Lee asked the BVSPCA for the names and addresses of any foster, rescue or alternate organization that signed out any of the dogs. To date, the BVSPCA has declined to provide that information to both Lee and Sussex Living.

Brandywine Valley CEO Adam Lamb first said the locations of the dogs could not be disclosed because they were part of an active criminal investigation, even though Timmons signed over custody in 2016.

Later, he said BVSPCA could not release “confidential information” regarding their adopters and partners. Lamb stated none of the dogs had been euthanized or were at risk for euthanasia.

"I just couldn't see any reason why they would not give the location of the dogs. It would have no effect on the cruelty case. It really raised a red flag," Lee said at the time. “I think the only thing I can do safely is return the funds to the donors or allocate them to a foundation of their choice.”

However, a few weeks later, on Feb. 13, Lee emailed the 347 donors that contributed to his campaign and stated, “BVSPCA has provided our team a written account of expenses (past and current) and the assurance these dogs have not, nor will be [sic] at risk of any euthanasia.”

Lee said he was able to verify the location and well-being of several of the dogs himself, leading him to feel comfortable giving a portion of the funds to the BVSCPCA.

He hopes to use the remainder of the funds to purchase traps and bulletproof vests for the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare, items OAW officials have requested.