East Millinocket woman charged with animal cruelty, over 20 animals seized from home

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT
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EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (WABI) - East Millinocket Police Department seized 21 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 pig from a Main St. residence Wednesday. They say the seizure follows a dog fight that broke out on the property that resulted in the death of one dog.

Megan Mathis, 34, has been charged with animal cruelty but has yet to be arrested.

One neighbor, who spoke to us but declined to be on camera, says the abuse of the animals has been going on for about a year.

Thankfully, the animals have begun their road to recovery.

“He was a little dirty, you could tell he had been in a cage,” describes Nicole Bean, owner of Bean Forest and Swampland in Kingman, of Vinnie the pig who was part of the seizure. “His feet were dirty and matted from standing in one spot. Underneath his chin, he has a little scrape, looks like from rubbing on the edge of the kennel over and over again.”

Now on Bean’s farm, Vinnie joins her other animals, enjoying love, scratches, and treats from her and her family.

“He’s free to roam and he’s going to meet our pig Rhonda once he’s settled in, so he’ll have a little friend to play with.”

Meanwhile in Lincoln, the dogs surrendered to the Penobscot Valley Humane Society are in need of their forever home.

“So especially Ruger, Ruger started out being very standoffish. He was very afraid, very confused. You can tell that he’s actually opened up quite a bit in just two days, which has me very hopeful. Grim, the small Catahoula mix, he was very scared when he first came in as well as he’s opened right up with me, which I absolutely love because he is a wonderful boy,” explains Assistant Manager of the humane society Mary Curtis.

The Penobscot Valley Humane Society is the current home for six of the 21 dogs. The community has since provided generous donations of food and supplies.

As the dogs decompress, the shelter is prepping them to be adopted as these were surrendered. One has already been arranged to be adopted when the dog is more acclimated and trained.

“There’s definitely going to be a lot of trauma there from everything that they’ve gone through, so it is going to be something that I am going to be looking at with the adopters. Do you have other dogs, do you have small children, anything like that that’s always a concern with a dog that’s food aggressive,” says Curtis. “But I think that they’re going to be wonderful dogs for any adopter that decides to take them home under the right conditions.”

Currently, the case of animal cruelty is still under investigation. East Millinocket Police say additional charges are to be expected.

Seven dogs are at Central Aroostook Humane Society temporarily, and the rest of the animals are currently at Katahdin Kritters. The animals cannot be officially adopted until the legal process with Mathis has been completed.