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Wadena woman admits to shooting 2 dogs

A Wadena woman is facing two felonies after admitting she shot two dogs earlier this month.

Patricia K. Strayer, 57, admitted to shooting the two 8-month old blue heeler mix dogs with a .22-caliber rifle while the owner of the dogs was away camping. Only one of the dogs was found at the owner's home on County Road 75, northwest of Wadena, in Otter Tail County.

According to court records, the dogs' owner, who is the boyfriend of Strayer's daughter, returned home from a camping trip Aug. 6 and found a blood spot outside the home. He later found one of the dogs not responsive, but still alive.

When Otter Tail County Sheriff deputies arrived, they were followed closely by a pickup truck. The report said Strayer exited the passenger side of that truck and approached the dog owners, while yelling at them. The deputy on scene reportedly separated parties by pulling Strayer away and placing her in his squad. He recovered a knife from Strayer.

The dog owner and his girlfriend had been camping from Aug. 2-6. They returned briefly on Aug. 5 to tie the two dogs up after neighbors called that day reporting the dogs had been chasing deer.

Strayer made a statement that she went to the home Aug. 5 after receiving calls complaining about the dogs. Knowing the dogs were tied up, she said she shot both. She believed, because they were not moving, that both dogs were dead.

Based on court records, it appears both dogs suffered wounds that led to their death. The one dog that was found and was still alive was put down by an officer at the scene at the request of the dog's owner. A .22 rifle was found at the scene.

The owner of the property where the dogs lived told deputies that there had been numerous complaints of the dogs chasing deer and warnings of fines from the Minnesota DNR for chasing wildlife.

Strayer faces up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of both felonies. Her first court appearance is Sept. 17 at the Otter Tail County Courthouse.

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