More Than 100 Animals Seized in Maine Investigation

More than 100 animals have been seized by the state of Maine as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Officials there say they've taken dogs, horses, chickens and other animals from a home in the small town of Solon. Crews began seizing the animals this weekend.

Local volunteers and shelters from Portland to Bangor are jumping in to help.

"This is probably the second largest seizure of animals in my memory," said Ron Jones, project coordinator for the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency.

Beginning on Friday, dozens of volunteers began constructing some temporary shelters for the animals and a staging area to begin removing them.

Over the weekend, that work ramped up and Jones remotely coordinated six to 12 of his own volunteers on scene in Solon remotely.

"It's a lot of moving parts. You've got a couple of state agencies, you've got three or four county animal rescue teams, you've got the brick and mortar shelters that have said, 'We'll make room for these animals,'" he said.

But no one from any of those groups is saying what the reason for the seizure is, what exact home or property it's happening at, what the condition of the animals is and whether or not the person responsible is facing any kind of formal charges yet.

"The investigation is still ongoing and all of the animals are being evaluated and given the necessary treatments," said Liam Hughes, Maine's director of animal welfare. "We cannot give you case details, but the people that donate their time to help their community are very important to us."

Among the shelters taking some of the animals in is the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. The animals are not up for adoption right now and it may be a long time until it becomes clear whether they will be or not.

"These animals are considered evidence in the state's investigation," said Jeana Roth, the league's director of community engagement. "Right now, what we need most is dog food, canned puppy food, canned adult dog food and dry puppy food."

Roth added that the animals are getting "full veterinary treatment, medical care and love and support." She requested members of the public not call asking about adopting them for the time being.

For those who would rather give time to help the groups' cases, county emergency management agencies say they could always use a few more skilled hands.

"Our county animal response team is always looking for volunteers," said Jones, adding that the hard work of trained volunteers on their own time is a service many Mainers don't know exists.

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