Police 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.
â€œThis is the largest seizure ever in Maine,â€ 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.