December 10, 2018
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Authorities remove 80 dogs they say were living in unsanitary conditions

GRAY — Maine animal welfare authorities say they have removed 80 dogs — including 30 puppies — from a home in Gray.

The owner, Anita McBride, 52, was issued a summons in connection with the incident.

Court records show the state seized 80 dogs and two cats from the 744-square-foot home in Gray, where McBride lives with her mother. Documents show the house was full of trash and clutter, the dogs’ kennels lacked water, but were soaked with urine, resulting in unhealthy levels of ammonia.

Animal welfare director Liam Hughes said the state started investigating in early December after getting complaints from two people who bought sick puppies from McBride, who isn’t licensed to breed or run a kennel in Maine.

“It seemed like she was strictly breeding these animals for the profit she could make off them,” Hughes said.

McBride said that isn’t the case.

“They’re not just an animal, they are family,” she said.

Hughes said authorities worked with her for weeks before officials showed up with a search warrant on Jan. 22.

“There was never ever feces or urine on the floor. I am a neat freak,” McBride said.

McBride said she just moved back to Maine in November to help her 91-year-old mother.

“I came here with my clothes and my dogs, and I left everything else in Oklahoma, including my husband,” McBride said.

She said she’s been clearing out clutter that was piled floor to ceiling, and these conditions are only temporary until she can buy her own home.

“Oh, I’m fighting this,” McBride said. “I have several people that are going to court for me.”

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Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly attributed a statement from Anita McBride to Animal welfare director Liam Hughes.

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