FARMINGTON — A Franklin County man accused of abandoning nine beagles for two days in frigid temperatures has agreed to comply with state animal welfare laws and pay veterinary costs in lieu of prosecution, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said Friday.

David Ellis, 46, of Avon reached an agreement Wednesday during a civil hearing in District Court. He must take care of his dogs as outlined by Maine law and pay for veterinary care, plus room and board at an animal shelter.

The agreement allows Ellis to have six adult dogs returned to him, Robbins said. Ellis has built a new kennel that conforms to rules for canine structures, Robbins said.

Ellis agreed to surrender three 10-week-old puppies Dec. 29 to the state Animal Welfare Program, according to a signed court document.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Andrew Morgan responded to a complaint of abandoned dogs Dec. 29 in Freeman Township. The temperature was minus 22, not factoring in wind chill, according to a report filed with the court by Angela Rogers, a district humane agent for Franklin County.

All nine dogs were in separate kennels shivering in an open, unheated garage. None had food or drinkable water, according to the report. A few dogs tested positive for Lyme disease and all tested positive for intestinal parasites, according to Rogers’ report.

The dogs were seized by the Sheriff’s Office and taken to the Franklin County Animal Shelter.

Ellis was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Ellis told Morgan and Rogers on Dec. 29 that he moved from the Freeman Township home in late November and was setting up kennels at his new home in Avon. He said the dogs had access to a dog house and bedding, and he visited them every day, the last time at 4 p.m. Dec. 28.

Morgan checked with the complainant, who said he had not seen Ellis on the property for two days, although he could have come Dec. 28 while he was taking a nap.

The Animal Welfare Program sought permanent possession of the dogs.

Attempts to reach Ellis and the director of the Maine Animal Welfare Program were unsuccessful Friday.

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