A month after about 100 animals were seized from a property in Solon, Maine, they are up for adoption while their former owner faces criminal charges, officials say.
One southern Maine animal shelter that took in about 50 dogs and one cat says they should be up for adoption by the end of this week, while the state is still in possession of more than 100 animals that have been cared for by scores of volunteers, but many of those will be adopted through animal shelters.
Dogs, horses, chickens and other animals were taken in the raid on the property in Solon in July, which officials said at the time was part of an ongoing criminal investigation. The animals were taken to temporary shelters.
Maine will retain custody of 114 animals that belonged to Donna Noyes of Solon, said Liam Hughes, the state's director of animal welfare.
"Mrs. Noyes still faces animal cruelty charges," Hughes said. "She has surrendered her breeding kennel licenses and is no longer allowed to breed animals in the state of Maine."
Her next court date is Sept. 11, Hughes said. It wasn't immediately clear if she had an attorney.
Noyes will be allowed to keep six animals after they are spayed and neutered.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland has received verbal confirmation from Maine officials that the animals' owner is turning over their custody to the shelter, Jeana Roth, the shelter's director of community engagement, told NBC 10 Boston/NECN.
Final details are still being worked out, but Roth is "hoping to make animals up for adoption as soon as this Thursday or Friday."
Most of the dogs are rough collies, a long-coated dog breed.
"They have a wide variety of medical and behavioral needs," Roth said.
A state emergency shelter has been constructed that still has 29 or so animals in it in a Maine Department of Transportation building in Dixfield, Maine, according to Hughes.
That shelter allowed dogs that were still pregnant to give birth with minimal impact to them and to animal shelters working with the state to take in the animals.
One hundred and fifty volunteers have cared for the 114 animals for the past month at that facility, according to Hughes, with some using sick time or vacation time to provide that care.
The state says anyone interested in adopting any of the animals should check shelter websites to see when they become available.