BRUNSWICK, Md. (WJZ) — The horrific conditions stunned even seasoned Animal Control officers. Dozens of sickly dogs were removed from a Frederick County home.
As Weijia Jiang reports, the Brunswick homeowners are now hit with more than a dozen charges each.
The homeowner says he and his wife started out with two dogs. Ten years later, two became nearly 100. They thought they were doing the right thing by keeping all of them.
“It overwhelmed us. It controlled our lives. We didn’t control the situation; it controlled us,” said Ivan Issette.
The way Ivan Issette, 63, and his wife were living stunned their small Brunswick neighborhood. Last week, Animal Control officers took 95 dogs and seven birds out of the couple’s house on East A Street. Now they each face 17 counts of animal cruelty. The pets had never seen daylight, their coats were caked with feces and urine. One dog was found dead.
“It’s like a nightmare you never can wake up from. You love something but you don’t want to destroy it. It’s part of your life,” Issette said.
He worried the dogs would be put down if he asked for help, so he kept them. He paid $20 a day for their food, often foregoing his own.
“A lot of times came home without supper, without breakfast,” he said.
Though police say most of the dogs are relatively healthy, neighbors say their stench was unbearable. It’s why Crystal Glenn called Animal Control for help.
“It was the right thing. Sometimes you have to make waves and upset people and even get them angry with you, but it’s best for them,” Glenn said.
Issette says he’s focused on cleaning the house, trying to ease the pain of losing the animals.
“It’s like having a kid. You raise it from a puppy, you raise a kid to an adult, you love ’em to death,” Issette said.
The maximum penalty for animal cruelty is $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each count.
Despite initial concerns, vets are hopeful all the dogs are adoptable. In fact, there’s an open house to meet them on Sunday.