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Franklin County man avoids prosecution, gets some beagles back

CTSY: Dory Diaz

FARMINGTON (WGME) -- A Franklin County man accused of leaving his nine dogs in sub-zero temperatures without food or water, will not be prosecuted as long as he complies with a court order.

Officials at the Franklin County Animal Shelter said six adult beagles have been returned to their owner, while the three puppies were surrendered. One puppy has already found a new home, but two others, Dolly and Kenny, are still up for adoption.

The dogs were seized from David Ellis, 46, in December.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Ellis had moved out of his Freeman Township property but left the dogs behind in an unheated garage with an open door, while temperatures dipped to 14 below zero.

Authorities said the beagles were alone for more than two days without food and with frozen water.

Ellis was charged with animal cruelty, but Sheriff Scott Nichols said he won't be prosecuted as long as he complies with an agreement struck in court last Friday.

Nichols said Ellis has to pay $1,025 in restitution for veterinary care and boarding costs. He's also finished building a dog-house kennel that was being constructed when the dogs were seized.

If he follows animal welfare laws, he'll get to keep his dogs and avoid criminal charges.

CBS 13 left a message at a phone number listed for Ellis, but did not hear back.

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