The 23 dogs seized by Porter County Animal Control on Wednesday from a
Westchester Township woman’s home are not new dogs but part of the original
collection thinned by last month’s seizures, the Porter County Sheriff’s
The dogs’ owner, Donna Montoya, 50, of 190E 1400N, was being held at the
Porter County Jail on charges of animal neglect, 11 counts; and harboring a
non-immunized dog, three counts.
Sgt. Larry LaFlower told the Chesterton Tribune today that, when
Animal Control executed its search warrant in January at Montoya’s home, it
did not have the facilities to house all of the dogs found there and so left
her in custody of 20. A litter of puppies was born in the interim, bringing
the total number of dogs still in her possession—until Wednesday morning—to
A total of 105 dogs was seized, 82 over two previous days, Jan. 11-12.
Some of the original 82—beyond socializing and considered dangerous to other
animals and people—have been put down. Others have been adopted out.
Animal Control began its investigation in November, after the Health
Department received a report from neighbors alleging that fecal waste from
Montoya’s dogs was contaminating ground water. On Nov. 17, an Animal Control
officer visiting the property and observed unsanitary conditions there, a
lack of food and water facilities, and evidence that the dogs were attacking
each other, according to the probable cause affidavit. On Nov. 18, the
Animal Control officer interviewed Montoya, who admitted that none of the
dogs in her possession had been vaccinated, in violation of state law, the
Investigators believe that Montoya collected strays and that over a period
of time they bred and their numbers grew, LaFlower said.
Animal neglect is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a term of up to a
year in jail; harboring a non-immunized animal, a Class B misdemeanor
punishable by a term of up to six months.