GRANTSBURG—A day after being notified their dog needed to be quarantined after an alleged biting incident, owners of that dog returned home to find their dog dead on the front porch.
Kim Hoelter arrived home at 7 p.m. on June 23 to find Tatum, the family’s 15-month-old Great Pyrenees dead on the front porch.
“The dog was lying on its stomach. There were spots of dried blood on the deck near the dog and several spots of blood on the siding of the house to the left of the door,” Hoelter told officials later that evening.
On June 27, a Burnett County law enforcement official delivered the dog’s body to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for an autopsy.
While doctors could not without question determine the cause of death, the autopsy report states, “The injuries on the dog’s left body wall and upper back are most consistent with acute blunt force trauma.”
The 92.5-pound dog suffered three fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, multiple bruises and cuts. The report states, “the infliction of these injuries caused suffering.”
“We don’t know who did this. We’ve never been through this type of heartbreak,” said Steve Hoelter, Kim’s husband.
One day before the dog’s death, Burnett County Health and Human Services notified the Hoelters stating the dog must be quarantined due to an incident on June 19 when the dog is reported to have bitten an adult riding a bicycle past the house.
According to Steve Hoelter, this was the first time Tatum ever acted in an aggressive manner. The dog had no prior record.
He added “The scariest part is the fact of the act. We can’t believe this level of violence can happen in our community where there are so many children.”
The Hoelters posted signs around Grantsburg offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.
Persons with any information are encouraged to call Detective Julie Mead of the Burnett County Sheriff’s Department at 715-479-5635.