SKOWHEGAN – A Skowhegan woman is facing charges for animal cruelty and selling animals illegally.
This after an investigation by the Skowhegan Police Department and the Maine State Animal Welfare program found nearly a dozen dogs being mistreated in her home this month, leading to her arrest.
Police say more people are coming forward.
“She told us the dog was house trained and should be our best friend in five minutes, and that just wasn’t the case.” stated Samantha Glencross, joining the more than two-dozen people reaching out to investigators. She bought her dog Luna from Nicole Bizier, 32.
“Luna was terrified, she was very skinny, I had gotten fake paperwork which I didn’t find out until I went to go register her at the town hall.” added Glencross. Now her dog is 13 pounds heavier.
But many other owners like Glencross are still uneasy about their pet purchases.
Detective Kaitlyn Nichols was with investigators when they found 11 mistreated dogs in Bizier’s home after getting reports that she sold a dog that was muzzled for an extended period of time in March. She said “It comes from all angles of the state, one’s from Presque Isle, one’s from Kennebunk.”
Detective Nichols added “She’s essentially running a puppy mill out of her house.”
Investigations into Bizier have been going on since January and she was ordered to stop selling animals in February after a sting operation, but continued to sell under fakes names and through various websites.
On Monday alone, the Skowhegan Police Department heard from more than 30 people who bought from Bizier. Some with a grim ending.
“There have been several animals that have died after being bought from her.” stated Nichols.
Rob Rowe of Hebron, who reached out to us through Facebook, bought his cat with the promise of no problems. He later found it was sick and infested with fleas. His cat died three days after he got it.
Detective Nichols concluded “It’s good to get the information because we’re going to be able to pursue charges for everyone who was a victim to this.”
Skowhegan police said the investigation is still ongoing and more charges could be coming against other people close to Bizier.
The dogs seized from her home are now being held at the Somerset Humane Society.
Detective Nichols said if you would like to come forward about an animal you bought from Bizier, contact the Skowhegan Police Department.