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Steve Wagner, Forum Communications , Published November 10 2011

‘What kind of person would do that?’: Bemidji family seeks answers for dogs shot in yard

BEMIDJI, Minn. - On a morning like most any day, Corey Lindgren opened the door to his house Monday to let the dogs out before heading to class at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji.

Out on the farm, the dogs, Frank and Dozer, would chase squirrels in the yard, near the garden.

As he poured a glass of milk that morning, though, Corey heard gunshots nearby.

When Corey stepped outside, he found Frank, a boxer he’s owned since May, and Dozer, a chocolate Labrador retriever belonging to roommate Kaleb Hanson, fatally wounded a few hundred feet of his home, about seven miles southwest of Cass Lake.

“I heard four shots and I walked outside and saw the dogs lying there,” Corey recalled Wednesday. Clear there was no other choice, he said he was forced to put Frank down.

“It’s the hardest thing I had to do in my life,” he said. “He was a gentle dog ... He was a good dog.”

Corey believes the shooter fired from a vehicle, possibly red, on the road, but he didn’t get a good look at the make and model.

While he reported the shootings to the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office and buried the dogs the same day, Corey said his family is hoping someone comes forward with a tip to help catch the person who shot the dogs in his yard.

“I’ve been asking neighbors and looking for a red vehicle,” Corey, 20, said. “I just want them to pay for what they did.”

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Scott Parks said someone could face several possible charges, including reckless discharge of a firearm, criminal damage to property or cruelty to animals.

“It’s tough to say without all the pieces of the puzzle,” he said.

Before a county prosecutor could determine charges, though, Parks said his office needs more information.

“It’s difficult, especially if there are no leads, no physical evidence at the scene, no witnesses,” he said.

Corey’s mother, Tammy Lindgren, is also hoping someone has loose lips and brags about it. She and a sibling are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

“Who would do that?” Tammy said. “What kind of person would do that?”

She said she’s amazed someone would be brazen enough to shoot the dogs in the yard of the family farm.

“The dogs never wander very far and they were shot in the yard,” said Tammy, explaining her extended family lives in the immediate area with a cumulative 500 acres of land.

Since Monday, the family has distributed reward posters in Cass Lake and Walker in hopes a tipster can lead investigators to the culprit.

“These boys loved these dogs,” she said. “How do they (the shooters) know there isn’t a boy out in the yard? You can’t just be shooting into someone’s yard.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office at (218) 732-3331.