It was interesting to attend the Buxton puppy mill press conference and hear first hand accounts from the great folks who gave their time, blood, sweat and tears to the puppy mill dogs, and then see a very short and white washed account in the media. I was really glad I went and I dragged 4 kids along with me. I discussed it a bit at my 4th graders school conference later that day when I explained to the teacher why my daughter had missed school. The teacher and I agreed that seeing an injustice of that magnitude first hand will have a lasting effect on the kids, and not soon be forgotten. Not all lessons are taught in the schools.
Leading the panel was the Buxton chief of police who really came across as a caring animal lover who is dumbfounded as to how this case was swept under the rug. I though he did a great job of showing his disgust for the outcome of the case while trying to move forward so that this kind of thing can not happen again. He claimed he was told early in the week of the plea and then no one at the DA's office or assistant DA's office would return his phone calls.
District Attorney Slattery is on "vacation" don't you know.
How in hell is it that John and Heidi Frasca were offered a sweet plea deal? Aside from the fact that they were heavily documented animal abusers, these two cost the state close to 1/2 a million dollars. Where is the tax payer outrage? Here is a little reminder. The Frascas missed court dates, which kept the animals in state care for a very long time. 250 dogs seized and another 100 born after the seizure was considered a disaster and national agencies came form across the country to help. Repeat. This case was considered A DISASTER. Also as a reminder, the Frascas operated J'amie Kennel without a license for TWO YEARS after the state refused to license them citing 5 huge notebooks of documents of complaints from the town, and people who bought sick, dead, and mentally messed up dogs.
What the hell is up with that? There is wide speculation that there can be three possible reasons that this case was settled in this manner.
1-New District Attorney Slattery had no prior clue about the case and was looking to lighten her case load. This was a bad call, a very bad call.
If that is the case, she should be FIRED.
2-District Attorney Slattery was paid off.
If that is the case, she should be FIRED.
3-This came from higher up. Maybe someone decided enough time and money had been spent.
If that is the case, I hope this truth comes to light and everyone is FIRED.
If there is another explantion, we would love to here it.
The DA's office did issue a statement to the effect that the office felt the Frascas had suffered enough.
The statement claimed that because they had lost their property and had been in limbo since 07 it was as time served.
What about all the missed court dates and wanking around the Frascas gave to the state of Maine? What about the nearly 1/2 million dollar cost to the state for caring for their sick animals? What about the horrid breeding practices the Frascas used in breeding both mentally and physically unsound animals? What about a life long suffering that many of these dogs still endure? What about the fact that in 17 months, they can do it all again? Where is the LIFE TIME BAN on owning and breeding animals? What about the fact that they bred merle to merle Aussies which often results in deaf, blind and deformed animals, but none were found on their property but many were born into state custody? What about all those animals in their care who desperately needed medical care that was never provided. The Frascas had an incinerator inside a kennel.
Where is the JAIL TIME?
Where is the justice?
According to the plea agreement
What the bloody Hell????!!!
Those on the panel wanted the public to know 100 % that the fault is not with those who cared for and treated the dogs. The dogs were all documented, every last one of them. Every treatment, every medical issue was written down, dated and timed, and photographed. They even bagged and tagged mats. They dotted their Is and crossed their Ts. The records were massive, yet easy to understand. When I volunteered at the make shift kennel at Happy Tails at the make shift kennel I saw these documents with my very own eyes.
A source very close to the case who prefers not to be quoted directly told me the records were so meticulous, and easy to read and understand it was "Prosecution for Dummies."
Thank you to panel members Veterinarian Kelly Hill, Veterinarian Monique Kramer, retired AWP Director Norma Worley, Animal Welfare Society Executive Director Steve Jacobsen and Maine State Director HSUS Katie Lisnik .There were a lot of other people in attendance who worked tirelessly with the dogs, and many others who could not be there. There was a lot of head shaking and looks of disgust. I hope this is not over although when my 13 year old daughter raised her hand and asked the question "The Frascas abused animals and what can be done now?"
She was answered by a sad chief of police "What's done is done. It's all done."
For those not familiar with the case, here is a blurb from WCSH from 2009
Beginning in 2001, complaints about Frasca's J'Aime Kennels began coming into the Animal Welfare Division and the consumer protection division of the Maine Attorney General's Office. Frequent inspections were made, education was provided, deadlines were given and orders initiated.
Still the complaints reportedly continued until the state believed it was necessary to deny Frasca's renewal of a kennel license in January 2007. Animal Welfare has documented at least 80 violations of animal welfare rules in the past three years, and the Frasca kennel is frequently mentioned on Internet dog sites, where unhappy dog owners warn against buying animals from Frasca.
Frasca sells a wide range of dogs, including French bulldogs, German shepherds, Brussels Griffons, mini Australian shepherds, American bulldogs, Papillons and poodles, through at least seven Internet addresses.
The evidence presented at the hearing in support of the department's refusal to license the Frasca kennel filled five office binders with information and complaints, each 3 to 5 inches thick.
The violations documented by the state agency against the Frascas are varied and range from not selling healthy animals to failing to pay state fees to not maintaining clean and safe facilities.
Also documented are horror stories of dogs having their legs chewed off by other dogs and of a female dog so stressed by giving birth in a cage with other dogs that she killed one of her own pups.
Many of the violations were reportedly observed by state inspectors.
More case facts be found cached here
Best TV video coverage of the press conference (and the back of my head) is from Chris Rose. Thank you Chris!
And last but not least --
Thank you Renee Ordway for this piece written for the Bangor Daily News.