EAST MACHIAS, Maine — “I guess people really don’t care.”
That’s the conclusion drawn by Jason Barry of East Machias, who seems baffled by what he perceives as a lack of law enforcement interest in what he describes as the “torture” and death of a female pit bull owned by Michelle Rhodes of East Machias.
Barry said a walk in Machias protesting animal cruelty has been organized for 9 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, beginning at the gymnasium of the Rose Gaffney Elementary School on Upper Court Street and continuing to Tom’s Mini Mart on Route 1. Walkers will return to the gymnasium for refreshments and a silent auction to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Rhodes said in a Facebook posting that her dog Remi, which had just given birth to a litter of 13 pups, went missing in late October. After a search by Barry, the dog was found dead in an apple orchard in the Gardner Lakes area near the Washington County community of Whiting. Barry said he has photos that show that the dog’s throat was cut and that its body was riddled with gunshot wounds.
Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith has confirmed that the “incident did happen.” It has been investigated both by Maine State Police and by East Machias Animal Control Officer Kevin Nelson, who also is a Machias police officer.
“Right now we’re not doing anything, just waiting to see if people will talk,” Nelson said Friday. “While I do believe the dog was shot, I don’t believe the whole story. It just doesn’t add up.”
Reward money is being accumulated, Barry said, both through online donations and an account at a local credit union.