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"There's a million other ways he could have handled it": Minnesota family claims neighbor fatally shot its dogs

Minnesota family accuses neighbor of fatally shooting its two dogs
Minnesota family accuses neighbor of fatally shooting its two dogs 01:56

PRINCETON, Minn. – A Minnesota family is in disbelief after finding their two dogs shot dead in their neighbor's yard.

It happened in a wooded, rural neighborhood near Princeton on Friday, March 31.

"Friday afternoon, Libby, our daughter, was home, and she let the dogs out like she does every single day after school," said Kim Othoudt.

Othoudt said her 4-year-old mini Australian Shepherd named Jack, and her 8-month-old Golden Retriever named Winston, didn't come back to their home by dinner time. The family spread out and started searching for their missing pups.

"We were passing the neighbor's driveway and I saw something brown and I'm like, 'Back up, I think I see something,'" Kim said.

Around the corner from where the Othoudt family lives, they found Jack and Winston dead in their neighbor's driveway.

"[My husband Eric] got out and picked up the dogs, and the neighbor was standing in his picture window laughing, so we decided to call the police," she said.  

Kim Othoudt

Sherburne County investigators learned from the neighbor that the dogs had been chasing deer on his property, and when he went outside to yell at the dogs, the dogs started coming at him. Deputies say the neighbor admitted to shooting at the dogs to scare them. Deputies confirmed the dogs sustained gunshot wounds and died.

"There's a million other ways he could have handled it," she said. "He could have called us, he could have called the pound, he could have called the cops, he could have done a million things."

Loved ones have surrounded the Othoudt family in support since they lost their dogs, and that support system showed up Monday afternoon at the Sherburne County Government Center, where the Othoudts intend to file a civil complaint against their neighbor.

Kim hopes her actions are an example for her kids.

"I want them to know like stand up for what you think's right. This is very uncomfortable for me, but I'm doing it because I think it's the right thing to do," she said.

This case is considered active and the investigation is ongoing. WCCO was not able to reach the neighbor.

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