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Skowhegan woman arrested for animal cruelty, illegal pet shop

Police say Nicole Bizier of Skowhegan was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and running an illegal pet shop after a months-long investigation. (Skowhegan Police)

SKOWHEGAN (WGME) -- A Skowhegan woman is facing charges after police and animal welfare investigators say she was running an illegal pet shop, kept selling dogs after being ordered not to and animal cruelty to one of the dogs for leaving a muzzle on too long.

Police began investigating 32-year-old Nicole Bizier in January after complaints were made involving the selling of dogs with fake veterinary records and rabies vaccinations.

Police say Bizier was also using aliases of Sarah Lancaster and Sara Plummer.

In February, animal welfare investigations from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry tracked down Bizier with a request to buy a dog and charged her with tampering with public records or information and falsifying public records, ordering her to stop selling any dogs or cats immediately.

In March, another complaint indicated a dog last owned by Bizier suffered severe tissue damage to its mouth after a muzzle was kept on too long.

Agents also determined Bizier was still selling dogs through various websites.

On Friday, police, state investigators and Somerset Humane Society employees went to Bizier's Skowhegan apartment, executed a search warrant and found seven pit bull puppies and four adult dogs of various breeds.

The dogs were seized and taken tot he humane society for treatment.

Bizier was arrested on new charges of cruelty to animals, theft by deception and illegal operation of a pet shop.

Investigators are asking the public to contact Skowhegan police if they have purchased a dog from Bizier.

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