Malnourished cats and dogs were removed Wednesday from a Waterville Road home in Skowhegan after police and state animal welfare agents searched the home as part of an animal abuse investigation and found it to be “beyond unsanitary,” according to Skowhegan police Chief David Bucknam.

Brett Plourde, 24, was arrested at the 36 Waterville Road home on a probation violation in connection with the investigation and is being held at Somerset County Jail, Bucknam said Wednesday afternoon in a phone interview.

He said state animal welfare agents had been investigating a case involving dead dogs being dumped in the town of Canaan, and their investigation led them to to the Waterville Road house in Skowhegan. Three Skowhegan police officers assisted the agents in the search, conducted at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Bucknam.

Animal excrement was all over the floors and walls of the house, which police believe is owned by Plourde’s mother, who also lives there. Many dogs and cats were removed and taken for medical treatment to a veterinary hospital, the location of which is not being disclosed, Bucknam said. The large Waterville Road house is located in a residential area, where some businesses also operate, not far from the four-way intersection of Main Street.

Bucknam said the investigation continues, and more charges may be forthcoming once it is completed.

Skowhegan Deputy police Chief Brian Gardiner was one of the officers who helped with the search. Gardiner said he saw multiple cages in the home, cat and dog feces on the floor and the home smelled bad.


“I think there were about three adult dogs and four or five puppies and a few of the puppies were in bad shape,” he said. “I saw three or four cats.”

Police and agents cleared the house around 1 p.m., according to Bucknam.

He said if it wasn’t for the animal welfare agents, the abuse situation would not be on the police department’s radar.

“The Skowhegan Police Department can’t thank the animal welfare agents enough for what they do,” he said. “Without them actively searching for incidents of this nature, we would have a hard time locating it on our own.”

Bucknam said it did not appear Plourde was trying to sell animals.

“They just had a house full of animals and were unable to afford the attention and the ability to take care of them in any way,” he said.


Amy Calder — 861-9247
Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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