More Than 200 Dogs Seized From Maine Kennel

DogPolice authorities, the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland and the Animal Welfare Society, seized more than 200 dogs from a dog kennel in Buxton, Maine.

“This is the largest seizure ever in Maine,” said Susan Britt, director of operations at the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook.

The owners of the J’aime kennel, John and Heidi Frasca, have been served 14 summonses for having an unlicensed kennel, two summonses for animal cruelty and one for failure to provide necessary medical treatment to animals. They could face more charges after the district attorney’s office reviews the case.

“They are facilities that place the profit over the welfare of the animals,” said Carol Ann MacKinnon with the Animal Welfare Society. “The animals, the puppies that come from these mills often have defects as well as behavior problems.”

About 200 dogs and puppies were tested for giardia, an one-cell parasite that lives in the intestines, and sarcoptic mange, a skin disease. Several animals have tested positive for the diseases and are being treated.

Over the years, police said they responded to complaints about the J’Aime Kennel, but they were turned away by the owners every time they asked to inspect the facility. Last Tuesday, police returned with a search warrant and discovered what they describe as a large-scale puppy mill.

Authorities said a puppy recently sold by the kennel was diagnosed with giardia. Anyone who has purchased an animal from J’aime Kennel within the last couple of months is urged to have it tested for giardia and mange.

J’Aime Kennel is one of the many names by which the Frascas advertised their business on the Internet. The couple sold various breeds including French bulldogs, German shepherds, Brussels Griffons, mini Australian shepherds, American bulldogs and Pugs on seven different websites.

Source: WCSH, Maine Today

7 Responses to “More Than 200 Dogs Seized From Maine Kennel”

  1. Carol says:

    I found one of their websites:

    To me, it has all of the tell tale signs of a mill website. Their ’sires and dams’ section lists first-name only dogs. If a pedigree is mentioned, it’s to boast there are ‘champions in it’ - Champions that are never named, of course, because they’re two generations back. The photos show dogs with grievous breed faults - bad bites, tongues that can’t fit into their mouths, wall eyes. Their health ‘guarantee’ insists you return the dog to them - “J’aime Kennels does not give money refunds…..replacement only…..same breed and sex…..contingent on availability….” - something that I don’t think any caring new owner is ever going to be willing to do. Sticking that line into your contract is a nice way to be able to promise the world, and yet never have to deliver.

    All of this makes me unbelievably sad and frustrated. I am old enough, and have owned Frenchies long enough, to remember a time when a single French Bulldog in need of rescue was news, meriting an article in one of the breed magazines. A puppy mill mass rescue was huge news, scrambling people from states away into action, galvanizing the community, shocking all of us with the images we were shown. Now, we have videos from the HSUS showing Frenchies stacked in crates, awaiting sale to the highest bidder at Amish Puppy Mill auctions. We routinely have footage of groups of Frenchies being hauled out of squalid kennels, filth matted, frightened and alone. We see it so often, and hear it so often, that it’s almost stopped being shocking, even if it can never stop being sad.

    You can’t turn back time - I know that. You can’t tell all of those ‘new people’ who know suddenly need to own a Frenchie to pick another breed. What you can do, however, is be a breed ambassador every single day.

    Talk to people - if they ask about your Frenchie, encourage them to seek out a good, ethical breeder. Suggest your own, if you were happy with them. Attend your local meet up, and help inform prospective owners on how they can find a good breeder.

    For those people seeking a puppy, learn to know where to look, what to ask, and when to walk away. If that voice in your head tells you something isn’t right, listen to it. Don’t let greed or impatience push you into making a bad decision. Avoid pet shops, at all costs, and make sure you’re buying direct from a breeder and not a broker. Your Frenchie is a life time investment in friendship and love - do some research, to make sure that not only are you getting a great puppy, but that your puppy’s mother isn’t suffering quietly in some filthy pen, pumping out her tenth litter to feed the market for the newest fad dog breed.

  2. 2CatMom says:

    I think this is the next big pet issue. Most people would be horrified to know where their pet store puppy came from. I know the HSUS has done some work in this area - I’d like to see a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and drive these folks out of business.

  3. Dave Wilson says:

    I purchased a beautiful american bull dog from Heidi 15 months ago as of today 6/4/2008. She was completely healthy. A wonderful puppy. She has completed basic and advnanced training. She is now enrolled in protection, gard work. She is a doll. Wonderful with my 3yr old, 6yr old and 12 yr old children. She is a full bully breed energy wise. However, she knows when young children are around and will ofen just lay on the groud around them to get a belly rub. I have no physical or emotional issues with her at all. She is not people nor animal agressive. In fact she often plays with the bunnies in my back yard (I have over an acre of land).

    She did develop some patches where her fur came out- the size of a penny. I took her to the vet she was fine, it was not mange. She was allergic to the dog food I was giving her. So I changed the brand and it went away. I am completely happy with my healthy, beautiful puppy.

  4. Dave Wilson says:

    I forgot to mention, I visited her property personally. I was at free will to walk her grounds and kennel. It was very clean, in and out. Fresh clean shavings for the dogs. They could go in and out of the Kennel as they wished. Both of my dogs parents were there on site. I met them both as well. Very nice dogs. The inside of the Kennel was very clean as well. I do know that Heidi’s husband was fighting cancer at the time as well. Maybe that took its toll on Heidi and her husband as it would anyone. I can only report my pleasurable visit to their Kennel and the joy my healthy pupp brings me every day.

  5. PMA says:

    I found Heidi’s website in 2004 when I was looking for a miniature Austrailian Shepherd. They posted pictures of the puppies that were available and told how they were being raised inside the home. When I got to the place, the first thing I noticed was that the puppies were certainly not being raised in the house but inside a barn like building which had fly strips hanging, fully covered with flys all around. There was a large parrot in a cage in the middle of the barn, dogs running around loose, one with a missing front leg. She said that a female protecting her puppies had attacked that dog, injuring the leg so badly that it had to be amputated. The mother aussies (2 I think) that had litters of puppies, were in tiny straw filled cages, with feces stuck to the mothers hind end and it was on the walls also, as the mother had little room to move around her puppies. I asked if I could look at the other dogs in the barn, and when I walked down the long hallway of kennels, the earpeircing high pitched barking actually hurt my ears as all the dogs got overly excited as I walked through. The ammonia smell I will also remember. The little aussies were jumping and circling in the air inside the kennels, obviously cage-crazy. But the horrendous high pitched screaming is what I will remember most. There were two irish wolfhounds that I remember bearing their teeth at me from behind their kennel fence as I walked by. I knew something was very wrong with this whole scene and did not do any business with Heidi. I had never seen a puppy mill, and it didn’t phase me until I read more about them on the internet. Then I knew that was what I had seen right in Maine! I had not called authorities then, and I am very sad that I did not, because it may have helped the dogs sooner. I am so glad they were all rescued and she was shut down.

  6. Dog Boarding Melbourne says:

    Places like this just makes me sad. There should be stricter laws and regulations regarding operation of kennels. Animals have the right to live healthy as well as safe lives.

  7. Marlene says:

    I bought a teacup poodle from Heida 5 years ago never saw the kennel. I think I was lucky that she is healthy. Three years later my daughter bought a teacup poodle from Heida and went in person to pick up the dog. The dog was sick has guardia, had hair lost. The conditions of the kennel were dirty, dogs were many to a cage, undernourished. She returned the dog the next day after paying over a $1,000. with a paper saying they would refund her money because the dog was sick. After my daughter returned home which was a 7 hour drive from Maine Heida refused to return the money. We took her to better business bureau but alas ended up with no dog and a lost of over $1,000.

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