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Leads sought in Wolverton animal cruelty case

Jack, a Siberian husky who lives in Wolverton, Minn., with owner Sandy Maesse, is recovering after someone attempted to neuter him. Photo special to The Forum

WOLVERTON, Minn. - In this town of just over 100, almost everyone knows 7-year-old Siberian husky Jack by his first name.

Most have likely seen the bright-eyed dog and his owner, Sandy Maesse, on their daily walks through the small town. The familiarity and community spirit that surrounds the two is exactly why Maesse said it is hard to believe anyone from in town would have hurt Jack the way they did.

Maesse said she believes Jack was hurt on Thursday, June 2. That day, Maesse was working - as usual - across town when she stopped at home to check on Jack. He had somehow gotten away from his chain in her yard. Her elderly neighbor caught Jack and tied him up in his own yard.

Maesse said she returned Jack to his post and went on with everyday life.

But as the days went by, she noticed Jack was not himself, and soon he refused to walk with her in the evening.

Maesse discovered someone had attempted to neuter the dog by wrapping a plastic zip-tie around the dog's testicles.

The plastic had caused swelling and deep cuts to Jack's flesh. Maesse rushed Jack to a local veterinarian who immediately admitted Jack for surgery on June 9.

"The (veterinarian) said if this would have went on any longer, it would have been extremely life-threatening," Maesse said.

The Wilkin County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the case.

Sheriff Rick Fiedler said so far, there have been no leads in the case, although he is hoping someone in the community can offer information.

"We'll take any information we can get," Fiedler said.

Fiedler said his office is taking the case seriously, which could lead to charges ranging from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. But, he said such cases of animal cruelty can be difficult to investigate.

"There are no witnesses. There is one, but, of course, (he) can't talk," Fiedler said.

In the meantime, Maesse said Jack is recovering nicely after surgery and two weeks of medication.

"He's doing pretty good. He doesn't seem to have quite his full strength back yet, but he's walking with me again. Now it's two or three miles and he wants to go home, instead of me," Maesse said.

Anyone with any information about the case should contact the sheriff's office at (218) 643-8544.