Animal control seizes dozens of animals from Alfred home

Animal control seized dozens of animals from a home in Alfred on Thursday. Animal owner Brenda MacKenzie says she had seven cats and 40 dogs, 30 of which were rescue animals. She says authorities had searched the house before after reporting that some of the dogs were sick. “They came back with a court order to search and seize my dogs,” MacKenzie said. “My personal dogs and my rescue dogs for no justifiable reason.” MacKenzie says she operates an animal shelter. She has an Animal Sanctuary Facility License posted on their property, but she is not listed as an animal sanctuary by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. MacKenzie asked a neighbor to watch the animals in September 2021. Neighbor Lisa Lasante says she was asked to watch seven dogs. She showed up to find about 40 animals, dozens of stacked crates and animal droppings on the floor. “I wanted to bring them all home,” Lasante said. “I had a lot of trouble. I didn’t want to leave them.” She says she called local animal control, the city code official and a nearby animal shelter. To her, it didn’t look like no action had been taken. She worried that the dogs weren’t getting enough food, water or exercise. Paws From Away founder Deb Shapiro shared similar concerns. MacKenzie fostered and then adopted a dog from Shapiro. Months later, MacKenzie decided to give the dog back. Shapiro says MacKenzie didn’t want her to come to her house to pick up the dog. They met at a different place. Shapiro was surprised to find that the dog looked extremely skinny. “Dolly was emaciated,” Shapiro said. “So much that I immediately took her to Angel Memorial where they said she was starving.” Like, Lasante, Shapiro was frustrated that the state had taken no action against MacKenzie until today. “Today I saw them all come out,” Lasante said. “I don’t even know how she managed to have so many for so long.”

Animal control seized dozens of animals from a home in Alfred on Thursday. Animal owner Brenda MacKenzie says she had seven cats and 40 dogs, 30 of which were rescue animals. She says authorities had searched the house before after reporting that some of the dogs were sick.

“They came back with a court order to search and seize my dogs,” MacKenzie said. “My personal dogs and my rescue dogs for no justifiable reason.”

Animal Welfare would not comment, saying it was an ongoing investigation. MacKenzie says she operates an animal shelter. She has an Animal Sanctuary Facility License posted on their property, but she is not listed as an animal sanctuary by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

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Animal sanctuary permit displayed on MacKenzie’s property

MacKenzie asked a neighbor to watch the animals in September 2021. Neighbor Lisa Lasante says she was asked to watch seven dogs. She showed up to find about 40 animals, dozens of stacked crates and animal droppings on the floor.

“I wanted to bring them all home,” Lasante said. “I had a lot of trouble. I didn’t want to leave them.”

She says she called local animal control, the city code official and a nearby animal shelter. To her, it didn’t look like no action had been taken. She worried that the dogs weren’t getting enough food, water or exercise.

Paws From Away founder Deb Shapiro shared similar concerns. MacKenzie fostered and then adopted a dog from Shapiro. Months later, MacKenzie decided to give the dog back. Shapiro says MacKenzie didn’t want her to come to her house to pick up the dog. They met at a different place. Shapiro was surprised to find that the dog looked extremely skinny.

“Dolly was emaciated,” Shapiro said. “So much that I immediately took her to Angel Memorial where they said she was starving.”

FEFF vet report for dolly after she was picked up at mackenzie's x20;home

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Vet report for Dolly after she was picked up from MacKenzie’s home

Like, Lasante, Shapiro was frustrated that the state had taken no action against MacKenzie until today.

“Today I saw them all come out, Lasante said. “I don’t even know how she managed to have so many for so long.”