Trial of Maine couple charged with starving Chihuahua, boxer mix set to begin Monday


    Lincoln County Deputy Brendan Kane wrote in an affidavit that Dodge “was the most severely emaciated dog that ACO Cook had ever seen in person that was still alive at all.” (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

    WISCASSET (BDN) -- Jury selection is set to begin Monday morning in the trials of a Somerville couple charged with starving their Chihuahua to death and leaving a boxer mix nearly dead.

    Michael P. Hutchins Sr., 44, and Sandra Hutchins, 41, both of Somerville, were each charged in June with two counts of Class C felony aggravated cruelty to animals. A Lincoln County grand jury indicted them in September, and they both pleaded not guilty.

    The case was reported to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office by a teenage girl who knew the couple and often visited the dogs, according to a civil case filed by Lincoln County Animal Control Officer Benjamin Cook.

    Cook sought and was granted custody of the couple’s three American bulldogs, Whiskey, Diesel and Lucifer, according to court records.

    Cook visited the house on June 9 and wrote that he found the boxer mix, Dodge, “in emaciated condition” and the Chihuahua, Lily, dead and buried.

    Dodge, who weighed 31 pounds — about 40 pounds less than the average weight for a dog his age — “had been starved to the point that all the fat in his body was gone and his body had been consuming his muscles for energy,” Dr. Robin Elms, a veterinarian, wrote. “He was a few days away from death.”

    Lily, the Chihuahua, weighed 5.5 pounds when she died, a necropsy determined. The normal weight would be 12 to 15 pounds, according to Dr. Nicole King, who performed the necropsy, reported.

    “It is more probable than not that she was starved to death,” King wrote.

    Michael Hutchins reportedly told Cook that Lily was not his dog but belonged to “my ex,” and allegedly admitted Lily lost a drastic amount of weight in a short time, but he took no action.

    Kane wrote in an affidavit that Dodge “was the most severely emaciated dog that ACO Cook had ever seen in person that was still alive at all.”

    Jury selection is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday in Wiscasset Superior Court.

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