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By Riham Feshir, Forum Communications Co., Published February 19 2010

Hit-and-run snowmobiler kills dog on Pelican Lake

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – James Larson is searching for the snowmobiler who killed his dog.

Because the accident happened so quickly, and the snowmobiler who ran over the dog didn’t stop after the accident, he doesn’t have much to go on. But he’s looking anyway. He feels he owes his dog that much.

Rosie was killed about 4:40 p.m. Monday. Larson said he was playing outside with the 60-pound yellow Lab/golden retriever when three snowmobiles on Pelican Lake drove by at a high rate of speed. The first two sleds almost hit Rosie, but the third actually did. After the impact, none of the snowmobilers stopped. In fact, they sped off.

“They hit the dog and then went even faster,” Larson said. “My mom looked at me, and I looked at my mom. It was paralyzing. It was so shocking, we couldn’t believe what we had just witnessed.”

Rosie died just a few minutes after the accident. She was 20 months old.

“I got to Rosie’s body, and there was blood coming out of her head and mouth and she was still twitching,” Larson said. “And I sat down and I rubbed her and had my hand on her chest, and she died.”

Because the snowmobiles were going so fast, Larson and his mother were unable to see the snowmobiles’ make or model, nor the license plates. So when Larson reported the accident to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department, he was told there is not much the authorities can do.

But they advised him to put up fliers around town asking for assistance in finding the snowmobiler who hit Rosie because there is probably damage to that snowmobile.

“If it was a civilized adult, one of the three would’ve stopped,” Larson said.

Rosie was a rescue dog from Audubon, Minn., who lived with Larson for about seven months. She was calm and always sat in the corner in Larson’s company.

“I’m so grateful for the time that I had with her,” Larson said. “I feel I owe it to Rosie to give my effort to have somebody be accountable for this act.”

Anyone with information regarding the accident is asked to call Larson at (218) 841-2722.


Riham Feshir is a reporter at the Detroit Lakes Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.