Man charged with using butcher knife to kill cat during argument


Police say a Fergus Falls man, in the midst of an argument with his girlfriend, sharpened a butcher knife and killed the couple's cat, Valley News Live reports.

Keith Dement, 26, was in Otter Tail County Jail Saturday morning, charged with felony mistreatment of animals.

According to KFGO, a police report says Dement was having an argument with a woman in the home about the cat, who had revently knocked over a bird cage causing a mess. The woman told Dement he needed to take better care of the cat, the report says.

That's when he reportedly sharpened the butcher knife and killed the animal.

Sgt. Connor West of the Fergus Falls Police tells Valley News Live the cat's body was located by the Otter Tail River in Fergus Falls.

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According to Minnesota statutes, cruelty toward or torture of an animal that results in its death can result in up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. If that act was done to "threaten, intimidate, or terrorize another person," those penalties can double.

Animal Abuse Cases

In Pine County, two women are facing charges of neglecting and abusing more than 100 animals.

65-year-old Kathleen Mary Doenz and her mother, Gloria Irene Carlson, 86, are facing five felony counts, five gross misdemeanor counts and four misdemeanor counts related to the abuse and neglect of horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and other animals on their property. The charges were filed in late December.

A total of 135 animals were seized from the farm on Sept. 12 and dozens had to be euthanized because of poor health.

A monthlong investigation by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office led to the seizure of the animals in September.

Around the same time, a western Wisconsin man was charged with 34 counts of mistreating horses.

Michael Feist owns Otter Creek Ranch in Milltown Township. The Travel Wisconsin website says the ranch offers 100 “gorgeous Appaloosas” for trail rides and riding lessons, as well as a petting zoo. But neighbors have long complained about the condition of the horses there.

Authorities found four dead horses and more than a dozen malnourished when the inspected the ranch late September. They gave Feist 30 days and suggestions to improve conditions.

Polk County authorities said Feist was not cooperative, and so they executed a search warrant Nov. 8. According to the criminal complaint filed later that month, they found conditions had worsened, with feed buckets empty, sheep standing in feces and horses eating their stalls.

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