Saturday, April 28, 2012

Donna Montoya - Indiana

Apr 28, 2012:  Chesterton dog hoarder: ‘They completely ruined my life’

By Amy

Donna Montoya’s life has fallen apart in the months since officers with Porter County Animal Control seized dozens of dogs from her Chesterton-area property.
“I go to the store and people say, ‘There is the dog killer,’  ” Montoya said during a recent phone interview punctuated by occasional tears. “They completely ruined my life.”
Law enforcement officials said the case was the worst incident of animal hoarding they had seen in Porter County.
Officers took most of the animals Jan. 11 and 12, and more were taken in mid-February. The dogs bit three people on the first day of the raid.
The sheer number of dogs — 105 in all, including seven puppies Montoya relinquished to the Porter County Animal Shelter a week before officers arrived at her door — overwhelmed the county’s resources to handle them all at one time.
Many of the dogs have found new homes, been placed with foster families or are awaiting adoption at the Porter County shelter and other area facilities....
She and her companion, George Mitchell, have decided to leave their Westchester Township home behind and find a new place to live, but no one will rent them a home.
She lost her job and hasn’t been able to find the externship she needs to complete her associate degree in business. She has yet to see the court documents charging her with animal neglect and cannot afford an attorney; she has a meeting this week to try to get a public defender.
She had previously been charged with animal neglect, though those charges were dropped and, at one time, Montoya had been working with the shelter and animal control to reduce the number of animals on her property.
Given the charges against her now, Montoya declined to comment on the number of dogs officers seized from her home. On the first day of the raid, as officers corralled her dogs — each of which she had named — Montoya readily admitted she knew she had too many dogs..."  More

Apr 28, 2012:  Shelter officials say traumatized dogs ready for homes

By Amy 

Rescued from a Westchester Township home in January and February in what law enforcement officials called the worst case of animal hoarding in Porter County, they are now being socialized and adopted.
Porter County Animal Control officials seized 105 dogs in all from Donna Montoya. About 40 of them had to be euthanized because they were too aggressive to be adopted out, said Jon Thomas, director of the Porter County Animal Shelter.
Three of the remaining dogs are at the shelter, and another 15 are being housed at an old church across from the shelter on Indiana 2. Another four or five are at the Lake County Animal Control Center in Crown Point, and many more have already been adopted or are in foster homes or with rescue groups, Thomas said.
Standing in a fenced run erected at the back of the old church, which was installed earlier this month, Thomas said Friday the dogs are smart, crate-trained and ready for homes.
“They’re just like kids,” he said as the dogs frolicked in the run. “They all have their own personalities. The young interact with the older ones, and they’re just really neat to be around.”
When the dogs arrived, they were scared and traumatized from being removed from Montoya’s home, said Toni Bianchi, an animal behaviorist and chairwoman of the shelter’s advisory board.
The dogs have undergone a tremendous transformation, Bianchi said.
“They’ve learned to trust people, that we’re not going to hurt them, and that we supply their food,” she said with a laugh..."  More

Jan 16, 2012:  82 Dogs Seized from Indiana Woman's Home

A day after officials seized 55 dogs from a home in Northwest Indiana, they went back Thursday and took about two dozen more.
Animal control officers re-visited the home just outside of Chesterton and removed an additional 27 dogs, bringing the two-day total to 82. The officers told local reporters it was the worst case of animal hoarding they'd seen.

It's not clear why the additional dogs were not removed during officials' visit to the home on January 11.
The dogs were taken to a local animal shelter, but several of them have been isolated because they tested positive for canine parvovirus. Some have already been put down.
Donna Montoya, 50, who lives in the home where the dogs were seized, could face a number of counts of cruelty to animals. The property owner could also faces charges.
Animal control officers first went to the home in November after neighbors told the local health department they were worried that animal waste was getting into their drinking water..."  More

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