FARMINGTON — The owner of dozens of dogs, puppies and house birds seized from a Wilton residence has surrendered them to the state, Heidi Jordan, executive of the Franklin County Animal Shelter, said.

The shelter is accepting applications for the animals and house birds but they are not ready for adoption, because they are still receiving medical treatments, she said.

The animals included 75 dogs and puppies and 18 birds.

The state and the shelter will screen the adoption applications, which is a common practice.

The state and shelter have a database of people who have abused in animals in the past, Jordan said.

To get an application, email the shelter at [email protected] Shelter personnel will email back an application that can be filled out and submitted, Jordan said.

The types of dogs that will be available are pugs, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Japanese Chins and dachshunds, she said. The types of birds are parakeets, canaries and love birds.

Jordan said the community has donated many items such as dog food, money, bedding, bleach and toys to help the shelter take care of the animals and birds.

“I don’t know how to express how grateful we are,” she said.

A Hannaford representative visited the shelter Friday to donate a $250 gift card, she said.

State animal welfare agents, Wilton police and a state veterinarian executed a search warrant March 14 at the home of Nancy Champagne after a complaint was filed.

A majority of the dogs were deemed very thin or emaciated, according to a Farmington court document. Some had dental disease, hair loss and scabbing from chronic flea allergies, overgrown toenails, ear and eye infections and long hair matted with feces. Tests revealed many had parasites, it said.

When agents, police and a state veterinarian arrived, “the ammonia smell was overpowering,” Angela Caldwell, district humane agent for the Animal Welfare Program, wrote in her report. She indicated the home was cluttered and appeared to have areas of dog feces.

The kitchen and living room had stacked dog pens and crates with bird cages on the counter in the kitchen. Twelve double-stacked crates in the living room held 28 dogs and puppies and another four in the room were stacked and soiled, she reported.

Wooden and wire pens on the kitchen floor contained four dogs in one, five in the other and a tier of three stacked dog crates, separating the two pens, with one dog in each.

Champagne had been scheduled to appear at a hearing May 10 at a Farmington court to determine if the state would take ownership of the animals.

[email protected]


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