Police charge owner of 9 beagles left in subzero temps

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FREEMAN TOWNSHIP — Police have charged the owner of nine beagles, including three puppies, for leaving them in an abandoned, unheated garage, with an open door, to face subzero temperatures.

David Ellis, 46, of Avon, was charged Friday, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said.

“The dogs are doing fine at the shelter now; they were well-fed. The issue was the extreme cold conditions they were left in,” Nichols said in an email.

They had shelter, but the structure had an open door and windows.

“I was freezing just standing there,” Nichols said. 

Ellis, apparently, had moved out of a property on Foster Hill Road, leaving the dogs for over two days without food and with frozen water, according to what a witness told police. 

Someone was on the property to do some work this morning, saw the puppies and felt something should be done. With no animal control officer in that area, the Sheriff’s Office was called in, Nichols said.

Because the dogs are considered evidence and part of the ongoing investigation, Nichols declined a request from the Sun Journal for a photo of the dogs.

The dogs were removed and taken to the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington, Nichols said. At that time, temperatures at the site were reported at minus 14 degrees.

Staff at the animal shelter said the dogs were in good condition but declined further comment.

Based on how the dogs respond to care and the course of the investigation, the district attorney could decide to add additional charges, according to Liam Hughes, director of Maine Animal Welfare.

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The Franklin County Sheriff Department removed nine beagles Friday morning from an unheated structure in Freeman Township and took them to Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington. Previous tenants of the property moved out two days prior. (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office removed nine beagles Friday morning from an unheated structure in Freeman Township and took them to the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington. Previous tenants of the property moved out two days prior. (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

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