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Minnesota woman charged with mistreating two dogs, turtle

Danetta Kratzke

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A Moorhead woman faces charges in Clay County District Court for allegedly mistreating two dogs and a turtle.

Danetta Kratzke, 18, faces one felony count and one gross misdemeanor count of mistreating or torturing a dog named Kota, one misdemeanor count of abandoning the dog and one misdemeanor count of abandoning a turtle.

According to court documents:

Police were dispatched Oct. 23 regarding an abandoned dog.

A property manager told officers that Kratzke had recently been evicted from a unit and had left behind a dog and a turtle.

In the residence, police noted feces and the odor of urine, and they found a lethargic dog named Kota that appeared dehydrated and had a matted, urine-stained coat.

When the dog was picked up, an officer could feel each rib and vertebrae, and the dog's hip bones were protruding.

The approximately 3-year-old dog, described as a white Eskimo, weighed 11.8 pounds. A white breed known as American Eskimo is a companion dog that typically weighs between 18 and 35 pounds.

Court documents state that Moorhead police discovered there was an active warrant for Kratzke out of Cass County for a case involving a German shepherd puppy that had been locked in a kennel without food or water and had died. In that case, Kratzke faces one misdemeanor count of animal abuse.

A police officer investigating the Moorhead case located Kratzke driving a pickup truck on Friday, Oct. 27, and stopped the vehicle.

Kratzke was taken to the Moorhead Law Enforcement Center where she agreed to answer questions, telling an officer that she left Kota behind because she could not care for the dog and did not want to give it away.

She said she had a new dog in her new home, an 11-week-old puppy named Dex.

Kratzke allowed the officer to see Dex, and court documents state the small black dog appeared extremely skinny and tried to suckle on Kratzke's fingers as she held him. Also, the dog's hip bones and ribcage were sticking out and noticeable.

Kratzke let the officer take Dex to the Moorhead Law Enforcement Center, and once there the dog was offered food. The puppy began eating so rapidly it wasn't even swallowing the food, according to court documents.

The turtle Kratzke allegedly left behind remained in the property where it was left, and it was being fed by a Moorhead police officer and the property manager.

Dave Olson
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