WISCASSET, Maine — A Waldoboro mother and daughter were indicted last week by a Lincoln County grand jury on felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals after police allegedly found two dogs in their care under horrific conditions, one only hours away from death.
Melinda S. Allen, 50, and her daughter, Dakota Chandler, 25, received criminal summonses on Oct. 24, 2017, after police allegedly found Apollo, a 5-month-old pit bull mix, living in an 18-inch cat crate too small for him to stand or turn, and Carmen, also a pit bull mix, near death.
The felony crime of aggravated cruelty to animals alleges that someone “in a manner manifesting a depraved indifference to animal life or suffering, did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause extreme physical pain to an animal; cause the death of an animal; or physically torture an animal.”
Veterinarian Dr. Robin Elms, who treated both dogs on Oct. 23, wrote in a statement that Apollo, owned by Allen, was defecating and urinating in the same crate in which he was kept, that his paws were scalded from standing in its own urine, that he had fleas and was 5 pounds underweight, “with ribs clearly protruding.”
The dog’s legs were bowed and its gait severely affected from the cramped quarters, she said.
Waldoboro police officer Larry Hesseltine told prosecutors Carmen, owned by Chandler, was in more severe condition, had been starved and might not survive.
“That dog, when we first saw it, was within hours of passing,” Waldoboro police Chief William Labombarde said Monday. “Larry (Hesseltine) and I were in shock. Neither one of us — and we have close to 30 years on — had ever seen one like that.”
According to court records, Allen was reluctant to voluntarily relinquish Apollo to the animal control officer, so the state took possession and she will be charged for its care.
Elms took Carmen home for two nights, she said Monday, but the dog was eventually placed in state care as evidence.
Chandler is represented by attorney Daniel Purdy. Allen is represented by attorney Natasha Irving. Neither attorney immediately returned phone calls Monday afternoon.
Allen and Chandler are scheduled for trial in Wiscasset Superior Court on March 27.
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