Woman Who Found Abandoned Caged Dog Requests Help From Maine Governor Mills
The story continues.
Almost three weeks ago we told you about how a woman and her husband happened upon a dog inside a black wire cage just sitting on the side of a rural road in Robbinston, a small town in Washington County which is right next door to Calais. The dog had been abandoned there on a hot sunny day, and a sign was affixed to the cage that read "Free." Whoever had left the poor guy there had also left both a food and water dish within the cage, although the water dish was empty.
Jonelle Hennequin, who discovered it, brought the dog home and then notified the local Animal Control Officer. In the process, Ms. Hennequin decided to keep the dog and make it a part of her family. She took the animal, which she named Hemi, to the local veterinarian for shots and then licensed the dog as well.
Meanwhile, the local Animal Control Officer would like possession of the dog as part of his investigation into whoever left it there on the side of the Ridge Road Road. Agent Doug Radziewicz of the State Animal Welfare office in Augusta also stopped by to take photos and collect evidence, and following that sent Jonelle Hennequin a text asking her to surrender the animal to the local ACO within the next 48 hours.
"As I previously mentioned, the dog is evidence of a crime of abandonment but also the requirement under Maine State Law of what the finder of a stray or abandoned dog is required to do, 7-3913 Procedure for Stray Dogs", Agent Radziewicz said in a text to Ms. Hennequin.
Section 1 or Maine Law 7-3913 instructs a person who finds a stray dog to "take that dog to its owner if known or, if the owner is not known, to the animal shelter designated by the municipality in which the dog was found."
Ms. Hennequin refuses to do so.
In a letter sent this week to Maine Gov. Janet Mills and provided to us by Ms. Hennequin she tells Maine's leader that, " He (dog) is learning that anything that moves, isn't going to hurt him. We have gone for walks every day and I have introduced him to new things and new people and I have supported and comforted him through his fears. All of these are things that he will not get from the particular shelter that they are demanding I surrender him to, and the mental state of this very young dog has not yet been permanently destroyed, but it will be, should he be locked in a small cage as part of a dead-end investigation."
At this point, the Governor's Office has not answered Ms. Hennequin and the Animal Welfare agent hasn't knocked on the door with a warrant to take possession of the dog.
In her letter to Governor Mills Ms. Hennequin went on to say, "I am writing to YOU, in an effort to raise awareness and hope you can recognize the need for re-evaluation or reform that so desperately needs to be considered, and I would also like to request that you recognize that this dog has a safe, happy home, right here with myself, my husband and our 2 small children."
We contacted Governor Mills' office for comment but as of this writing have not heard back.