LINCOLN, Maine — Twelve more Labrador husky mixes connected to an Enfield animal cruelty case had to be impounded from a trailer here over the weekend. Six of the dogs had to be put down, bringing the total dead to 14 since March 16.
Eleven of the remaining dogs are recovering at a local animal shelter and two have been adopted by a nonprofit animal rescue organization.
The man who police say owned all but two of the 27 dogs found at the Enfield and Lincoln trailers, Jonathan Peare, 28, of Darlings Estate Road in Enfield, was free on bail Tuesday after he was charged with two counts of animal cruelty — one for each address — on Saturday, Lincoln Police Chief Scott Minckler said Tuesday.
Animal control workers said the 12 dogs found in a Warsaw Circle trailer in Lincoln on Saturday morning were in almost identical shape to the 15 dogs discovered in Enfield on March 16. Eight of the Enfield dogs were found dead, while the others were stinking of feces and urine, very underfed and surrounded by filthy conditions, according to officials.
“One dog was so shaky that she could not get up to eat,” Meg Crocker-Curtis, manager of the Penobscot Valley Humane Society’s shelter on Park Avenue in Lincoln, said Tuesday. “We had to hold her up so that she could eat.”
There even were signs that at least one of the Enfield dogs was eaten by a surviving dog, according to Crocker-Curtis. No dead dogs were found in Lincoln, but six had to be euthanized.
If convicted, Peare could be fined as much as $2,000 and serve a one-year prison sentence on each count of the animal cruelty charges and be banned from owning animals, state officials said.
Peare apparently owned 10 of the 12 dogs found in Lincoln and all of the dogs found in Enfield. The rest were apparently owned by a relative, said Norma Worley, state animal welfare director.
“They were in extreme terror,” Crocker-Curtis said of the dogs in Lincoln. “They could not wait to get out of there.”
Peare apparently kept the Warsaw Circle dogs with his girlfriend, and possibly with her parents, according to Crocker-Curtis. Three people appear to be living in the Lincoln trailer, according to Worley. Worley and Minckler said they did not know when Peare was scheduled to appear in court or what his bail conditions were.
The six surviving dogs recovered from Lincoln have been washed, dewormed and given their shots since Saturday. They seem to be recovering well at the shelter, Crocker-Curtis said. There, they joined the seven Labrador mixes that Peare surrendered to authorities on March 16 in Enfield.
Officials called the Enfield case one of the worst animal cruelty or neglect cases they had seen. Conditions in Lincoln weren’t quite as bad, Crocker-Curtis said.
“They could have been worse,” Crocker-Curtis said of the conditions at Warsaw Circle, “but they could have been a lot better, too.”
Meanwhile, two of the seven dogs found at the Enfield trailer were taken Tuesday by Almost Home Rescue, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to finding permanent homes for stray, abandoned and surrendered dogs in shelters that practice euthanization, according to the group’s Web site, almosthomerescue.net.
They are the first dogs adopted from the seven surviving Enfield dogs, Crocker-Curtis said.
The two dogs will go to foster homes in Rockport and Portland until permanent homes are found, said Helen Kazura, a volunteer with Almost Home’s Maine chapter.
“They will get good care and good nutrition,” Kazura said, “and they become part of the family [at the foster homes]. They will get taught some socialization skills and get some training.”
The two dogs seemed very timid. Both had mange on their hind quarters. Kazura, Crocker-Curtis and a shelter volunteer had to gently but steadily pull on the dogs’ leashes to get them to leave the shelter Tuesday. The dogs hovered close to Crocker-Curtis, who spoke soothingly to them.
“They are not aggressive, which is great,” Kazura said. “Lots of dogs like this could be fear-aggressive, but these guys don’t seem to be that way. They need to learn to trust people again.”
The five remaining dogs from Enfield also will be put up for adoption when they are ready, Crocker-Curtis said.
Dr. Joseph Nesin, a veterinarian at the Chester Animal Hospital, examined the five dogs Monday night and found that two were not pregnant, as Crocker-Curtis had feared.
Nor will two others be euthanized due to suffering from demodectic mange, an inflammatory disease caused by various types of demodex mite. Nesin discovered that they had a lesser skin problem, Crocker-Curtis said.