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resources > cruelty cases


Find details about criminal and civil court cases in Minnesota, and court calendars, at:

Minnesota Judicial Branch


For a publication by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) about animal abuse (link also has other publications as pdfs):

Investigating & Prosecuting Animal Abuse


The links below provide a listing of some animal cruelty cases in the State of Minnesota. (Some information on links is not updated; use for general overview. Check with individual county district courts for most recent data.)

Pet-Abuse: Cruelty database

Pet-Abuse: Minnesota map Animal Abuse U.S. Zip Code & County Case Search


A few examples of cruelty cases in Minnesota

• NEWS: Princeton, MN: Anthony Sather case.

UPDATE: Sather released from jail: Sherburne County releases Sather from jail

Sather sentenced to one year in jail, 4 years probation and multiple conditions. At sentencing, Judge Hayes said he's only had one other case in his 20 years on the bench that was this disturbing.

News release from Sherburne County Attorney

• News article: Man who pleaded guilty to beating, killing dog sentenced

Sather savagely beat and killed his then-girlfriend's dog named Draco and videotaped the act. Sather pleaded guilty.

News: Plea deal reached in videotaped dog killing

News: Smiling for camera, Princeton man records torture

Original Complaint: Anthony Sather Case. 71-CR-15-31


NEWS: New Brighton, MN: Neal Zumberge

UPDATE: Jury finds Zumberge guilty of murdering neighbor

Trial held for Neal Zumberge, a New Brighton man who killed his neighbor. Early reports stated that the killing was due, in part, to his neighbor (Todd Stevens) feeding deer. Steven's girlfriend testifies other dead animals, including a beheaded squirrel, mutilated bird, and body parts of deer were left in their yard.

Article: Zumberge testifies


NEWS: Rock County, MN: Christensen Farms

UPDATE: The county attorney has declined to press charges.

A complaint was filed by Last Chance for Animals against Christensen Farms (large hog production facility) in Rock County, MN for animal cruelty.

For details: Minnesota hog farm suspends 7 over animal abuse video.

To view video: Factory Farm 360


• Savage, MN:

Man who crushed dog's skull with sledgehammer pleaded guilty

• Shakopee, MN: Animal advocates speak up about conditions at Eagle Pet Center

Update: All animals removed from pet store. Owner surrenders animals.

• Washington County, MN: Man accused of beheading dog with machete


• Harris, MN: Ruling sends cat slaying case back to district court

• Spring Valley, MN: SE MN man pleads not guilty to shooting, killing neighbor's dog

• Meeker County, MN: Neglected animals seized from Meeker County home

• Northfield, MN: MN man charged for burglaries and killing family dogs

• Dakota County, MN:

Breeder Charged with Cruelty, Killing Puppies

Update: Jury convicts Northfield breeder of animal cruelty (found guilty of 13 felony counts of animal cruelty)

Case was appealed to the Court of Appeals who affirmed conviction. Case was then appealed to the MN Supreme Court who denied to hear it. Read more.

• Cass County, MN:

More than 130 dogs seized from dog breeder in Pine River, MN.

Minnesota dog breeder charged with multiple counts

Minnesota dog breeder has history of shelter issues

Update: Breeder Charged for Deplorable Conditions, Still Allowed to Breed

Breeder was still allowed to breed (no conditions placed during sentencing). MN Board of Animal Health grants breeder a license to operate, though breeder was convicted of animal cruelty. Read more.

• Pine County, MN:

135 horses, dogs, chickens and ducks seized from Pine county farm

Starving horses and dogs again seized from Pine County animal owner

• Cass Lake, MN: Man sentenced for poisoning animals with anti-freeze


Minnesota: Neglected and dead horses found at farm.

April 6, 2011

The Morris Sun Tribune - "The eyes are dead, the backs and bellies sag and the hides appear draped over protruding ribs and haunches. But at least they are alive. About half of the 14 horses removed from a rural Starbuck home last week in an animal hoarding and neglect case are expected to be placed with private owners and foster caretakers..."


Minnesota: Tower woman cited for neglect after animals die of starvation

March 30, 2011

Duluth News Tribune — The owner of a dilapidated farm near Tower (MN) where at least six animals died of starvation was issued a misdemeanor citation for animal neglect. Neighbor says officers responded slowly to reports of dead animals and squalid conditions on dilapidated farm. For full story, click on link above.


Minnesota: Animals Rescued from Commercial Breeder

January 2010

On January 14, 2010, a team from the Animal Humane Society rescued 51 dogs housed from a breeding facility in rural Minnesota. The call to AHS came after local authorities responded to three different calls about the operation. At this facility, a high number of dogs of various breeds were found living in deplorable conditions. They were not provided exercise and experienced little to no human contact. The owner surrendered the animals into the care of AHS.

For further information and video go to:
FOX News: 51 dogs seized in puppy mill bust
AHS website: 51 dogs rescued from MN puppy mill


Minnesota: Animals seized from Minneapolis breeder

October 2009
In October 2009, Minneapolis Animal Control seized 30 shih tzu's from a Minneapolis breeder (Tiny Paws Tzus) who was operating out of her home. One dog's tongue was permanently hanging out due to the fact that the dog's jaw was broken. Other dogs seized suffered from similar conditions, including dental and eye problems, severe skin conditions, embedded feces and urine in their hair, and emotional trauma such as shaking uncontrollably with fright. This breeder was charged with animal cruelty and legal obstruction. Arraignment was December 10, 2009. This particular breeder was actively selling through her own website as well as online breeder directories, such as,, and others. For more information, go to:

wcco (Oct. 30, 2009): Mpls. Animal Control Sizes 30 Shi Tzu's From Home

(no longer online)
pdf -- Star Tribune (Oct. 24, 2009): 30 Shih Tzus seized from Mpls. Home


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