St. Paul authorities investigate after 3 injured dogs found

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

By Mara H. Gottfried

St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — When a dog was found severely injured in St. Paul last week, a rescue group immediately knew what to name him — Warrior.

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He had bite marks all over his face, injuries to the pads on his paws, and his ear was half torn off and infected. The dog was fighting for his life, said Natalie Wicker, director of operations for the Retrievers, a volunteer organization that finds lost dogs and strays.

The dog was the third discovered in the city’s East Side in the last month with serious bite injuries, and St. Paul police and Animal Control are investigating.

Some in the community are concerned the dogs are victims of dog fighting.

“It breaks my heart to think these dogs have suffered like this,” Wicker said.

Molly Lunaris, St. Paul Animal Control supervisor, said she can’t speculate what happened to the dogs.

“It could have been all three stray dogs were at one time together and they could have been attacked by a wild animal,” she said Tuesday. “They could have been attacked by a resident animal where they lived. They could have been involved in organized fighting. There’s too many ‘could haves.’”

Police also said they don’t know whether the cases are connected to each other or if they are linked to any kind of dog fighting.

The first injured dog was found about 6:30 a.m. July 27 on East Fourth Street, near Ruth Street, according to a police report filed Monday.

A man reported an unknown person left an unfamiliar dog with an injured leg in his fenced-in back yard. Officers found the small brown pit bull with bite marks all over his chest and leg, and Animal Control picked up the dog, according to the report. A nonprofit rescue group now has the dog, who’s continuing to recover, Lunaris said Tuesday.

Then, on Aug. 17, Tracie Lemke’s 17-year-old son found an injured pit-bull mix at the end of their driveway across from Indian Mounds Regional Park. The dog had a swollen face and his ear was infected.

—Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.