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Two people now face criminal charges after a dog was found abandoned and riddled with BBs in the Twin Cities last year.

Raylean C. Gurneau, 25, and Chue F. Yang, 32, were charged in Hennepin County District Court recently with four counts related to the incident: 

  • Overwork/mistreat of animals - torture
  • Overwork/mistreat of animals - cruelty
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Overwork/mistreat of animals - abandonment

A witness spotted the injured dog near 106th Street and Morgan Avenue in Bloomington on Nov. 18, 2021. It had been shot 10-12 times with a BB gun, according to the criminal charges, with many getting lodged under the animal's skin. One BB also punctured the dog's right eye, with a veterinarian ultimately having to remove the damaged organ. 

The Bloomington Police Department released photos of a person of interest at the time (see above). But it wasn't until March 22 that prosecutors were able to file criminal charges in the case.

Now, those complaints provide more details about what happened, and the role authorities believe Yang and Gurneau played. Neither are in custody, with both charged via warrant. Gurneau has three other active warrants for failing to appear, related to criminal cases from 2018 and 2019.

Here's what the criminal complaint alleges happened:

Warning: The details in this story may be upsetting.

A witness near 106th Street and Morgan Avenue first spotted the dog, telling authorities she'd watched it run after an SUV that was driving toward the freeway. She managed to call the dog over, saw it was limping and bleeding from the eye, and called 911. 

Investigators were able to pull up surveillance video from a nearby parking lot. The footage captures much of the incident.

It shows Yang driving a dark Hyundai Santa Fe, with Gurneau in front passenger seat. They stop, the dog jumps out, and Yang runs down the hill with it. Yang then runs back up the hill without the dog, and can be seen taking a blue and white object out of the back, tossing it aside. (Authorities later learned this was a dog bed and blanket, with the former having blood on it.)

Yang and Gurneau spend a few minutes there and the dog comes up the hill. Yang gets out of the vehicle and kicks at the approaching dog, causing it to run away and hide beneath the car. Yang gets back in and begins to drive off, at which point the dog runs after it. The vehicle can then be seen stopping, backing up as if to hit the dog, and then leaving the scene.

That's when the witness spotted the dog and called 911.

As the investigation continued, authorities learned the car had been reported stolen out of St. Paul Nov. 10, 2021. The surveillance video from the scene shows it had since been equipped with a fake license plate. Investigators also learned Yang and Gurneau were at a Fleet Farm the day prior, and a Walmart the day after, in the same vehicle, and had tried to use forged checks to purchase items from both places. 

On Nov. 23, officers recovered the vehicle on St. Paul. They found blood on an inside rear window, and 6 BBs matching those recovered from the dog.

Later, police obtained a search warrant for Facebook records. They found messages — starting Oct. 27, 2021 and lasting through Dec. 6, 2021 — between Yang and a relative.

That relative told police she had brought the dog to Yang's home on Oct. 27 and left it there while she ran to the store. When she got back, nobody would let her inside and the defendants refused to give her dog back.

In the weeks, as she tried unsuccessfully to retrieve her dog, people told her Yang and Gurneau were mistreating the dog: Not feeding it, hitting it, and beating it with a belt.

Police then showed her pictures of the injured animal. The relative began crying and confirmed it was her dog.

Yang is from Altoona, Wisconsin, while Gurneau is from Minneapolis, according to court records. 

Bloomington police said charges were able to be filed after "extensive follow up investigation" by detectives.

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