Archived Story

Horses, dogs, poultry rescued from ‘gut-wrenching’ conditions on farm

Published 9:31am Thursday, September 19, 2013

By Paul Walsh

Star Tribune

Abused and neglected horses, dogs and other animals by the dozens were rescued by law enforcement from filth on a farm in east-central Minnesota, but it was too late to save two of the horses, authorities said Wednesday.

The seizures occurred Sept. 12 at a farm on Holly Road northeast of Pine City, according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, and involved the removal from wretched conditions of 12 starving horses, 21 dogs, 84 chickens and 18 ducks.

Two of the horses “were put down by a veterinarian due to their deplorable condition,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Two of the dogs were about to give birth, the statement continued.

North Ridge Veterinarian Service’s Delores Gockowski assisted with the seizure and said “the term gut-wrenching doesn’t begin to tell how bad things were.”

The Sheriff’s Office would not reveal the identity of the animals’ owner, explaining that the monthlong investigation was continuing.

A neighbor down the way on Holly Road identified the owner as Kathy Doenz, 65, and court records show she was convicted and sentenced in 2006 on a charge of gross-misdemeanor cruelty to animals. Efforts to reach Doenz, who does not own the farm and lives just east of Pine City, were unsuccessful Wednesday afternoon.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said Wednesday that the earlier case is “going to be added as part of [the investigation] in case she wants to get the animals back.”

Numerous online and local newspaper ads over the years show that Doenz was selling puppies of various breeds, including pit bulls, and mixed breeds. One ad cautioned callers that because “you are buying quality don’t call with low offers.”


Sign in to Comment | Need help commenting? Click here

Editor's Picks