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Unsolved mystery in death of family dog

Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Posted in All Features

Tyson, the Kaases’ family dog, remains the center of an unsolved case after being found shot on November 14. Photo Submitted

As animal lover’s know, a pet becomes part of the family when it is brought home. Joe and Angi Kaase and their sons, Ryli and Quinci, felt this way about their 15 month-old German Shepherd named Tyson.

Ryli and Quinci loved spending time with Tyson, especially playing outside. Angi said, “When you would go outside and yell for the kids and they didn’t answer, all you had to do was whistle or holler for Tyson and whichever direction he peeked his head around, you knew our boys were over there.”

On Sunday, November 10, 2013, Joe Kaase went outside to put their vehicles in their shop for the night as snow had begun to fall. As Joe shut the doors of the shop Tyson went outside.

At 6 a.m. the next morning Angi went outside to feed Tyson. Tyson wasn’t around. At 7 a.m. she went back out to put Tyson in his kennel as her son was getting on the school bus and still no Tyson. When Angi left for work that morning she figured Tyson was snuggled up in his dog house keeping warm.

That afternoon, at approximately 4 p.m., Angi left work to attend school conferences in Harmony, Minn. and decided to stop home and check on the dog on the way. When she got home, there was still no sign of Tyson, no tracks in the snow, and none of his food had been eaten.

Angi and Ryli walked the entire property searching for Tyson checking to make sure he wasn’t caught on a fence or laying in an outbuilding injured. After finding no sign of him, Angi called the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department to report a missing dog. Joe and Angi telephoned and stopped at neighbors and put a post on Facebook hoping someone had seen Tyson. The post was shared over 50 times by caring people concerned about the missing pet.

The Kaase’s walked their property a second time yelling and looking for Tyson. Angi said, “We wanted him home so bad we would even think we heard him from time to time in the distance.” However, it was not Tyson.

By Tuesday, November 12, Tyson had still not returned home and feeling desperate to find Tyson, Angi contacted Harmony Transit, the City of Harmony and the City of Preston to report their dog as missing and shared photos. Angi once again posted on Facebook and stated that the family received a ton of support and help in looking for their dog from those who knew Tyson and those who had never even met him.

Also starting on Tuesday, Joe’s parents, Stan and Shirley Kaase, drove all over the county looking for Tyson explained Angi. Angi herself drove a five mile radius of their home after work looking for the dog. That evening Joe walked and searched the hillside behind their home looking for Tyson as well. The temperature had become very cool by this time and the Kaase’s were worried about Tyson possibly being injured and unable to get home.

The search continued on Wednesday with Angi posting another plea on Facebook that included the phrase “our hearts are getting heavier each day” and asking anyone with any leads to please contact them. Family and friends were looking for Tyson on the way to and from work, kids and bus drivers were watching for the dog on their morning and afternoon routes, and yet, there was no sighting of Tyson.

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, a friend of the Kaase’s was disking a field just north of the Kaases’ home and found Tyson laying dead in a weed patch on the edge of the field.

As this case is unsolved and there is an ongoing investigation, most of the details of what was found at the scene will not be printed at this time. The Kaase’s do want the public to know that “Tyson was shot at least four times at close range with a .22 caliber gun and we believe Tyson’s body was dumped in the location where it was found,” Angi said.

The Kaase family was unable to put Tyson to rest as the case was being investigated and the body had to be kept in a cool and dark location. They were advised to have the bullets removed so Angi took Tyson’s body and his favorite blankets and toys to the Harmony Vet Clinic which was very difficult and she knew this would be the last time she would see him. The people at the clinic were very understanding and gave Angi the time she needed to say good-bye. Angi returned later that day to pick up Tyson so the family could finally lay him to rest.

Ron Fishbaugher, of the Harmony Veterinary Clinic, stated that four .22 caliber bullets and a few fragments were removed from Tyson’s body. X-rays were taken and faxed to the Fillmore County Sherriff’s Department for evidence. Angi states “there were other substances still in Tyson that were not removed” as well.

The Kaase’s are left heart-broken with so many questions and no answers. They know the dog they loved so much must have suffered tremendously and wonder who could have done such a thing. Angi stated that Tyson was not a mean dog saying, “He loved people and anyone that met him loved him back,” which makes his death even more puzzling. There was never a complaint of any kind regarding the dog.

Joe and Angi’s oldest son, Ryli, age 13, understands what happened and has to struggle with the loss of his dog and also the fact that someone took the dog’s life.

Quinci, age 4, didn’t quite understand at first. At Christmastime Quinci wanted to ask Santa to bring Tyson home for Christmas so Joe and Angi had to explain to him that was not possible. Quinci now understands that Tyson was shot and is now in Heaven.

The family is reminded of this horrific event everyday as they drive by the location and also each time they stop at the end of their driveway as they can see the weed patch where Tyson was found.

It may surprise some people to know that there are certain times of the year and certain circumstances when a dog can legally be shot. The following information was obtained from Conservation Officer Steven M. Chihak:

Minnesota State Statute: 97B.011 DOGS PURSUING BIG GAME

A person who observes a dog wounding, killing, or pursuing in a manner that endangers big game may kill the dog:

(1) at any time, if the person is a peace officer or conservation officer; or

(2) between January 1 and July 14, if the person is not a peace officer or conservation officer and the discharge of firearms is allowed.

The officer or person is not liable for damages for killing the dog.

Minnesota State Statute: 347.17 KILLING DOGS IN CERTAIN CASES

Any person may kill any dog that the person knows is affected with the disease known as hydrophobia, or that may suddenly attack while the person is peacefully walking or riding and while being out of the enclosure of its owner or keeper, and may kill any dog found killing, wounding, or worrying any horses, cattle, sheep, lambs, or other domestic animals.

Angi stated, “Tyson was not a deer hunting accident as you don’t hunt deer with a .22 and the November date of Tyson’s death does not fall within the range of dates where killing a dog can be legal under certain circumstances.” Angi also stated that there is no livestock in the area of their home that Tyson could have been disturbing and Tyson never chased anything more than a cat or rabbit and did not bark at any critters except those that came into their yard.

Joe, Angi, Ryli, and Quinci Kaase want to thank anyone and everyone involved in searching for Tyson and all of the support they have been given. They are also grateful for the time they had with Tyson but find it hard to accept the way he was taken from them and the pain he must have endured. Tyson’s death has had a great impact on the Kaase family as they have endured the loss of a member of their family.

The family wants to know what motive anyone could have to kill their dog. The Kaase’s want justice for Tyson. If anyone has any information that may be helpful in solving this case, contact the Fillmore County Sherriff’s Department at (507) 765-3874.


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6:53:39, Jan 13th 2014

readinggrams2004 says:
I feel for the family who lost their dog to being shot. We had a similar experience just before Christmas. My husband and his beagle went rabbit hunting and his dog didn't come when called for. Kent came home for supper and went back out to try to find him. This was a Saturday, he went again Sunday and Monday. Monday evening our dog came home with the bone sticking out on his shoulder. Took him to the vet and had to have his front leg amputated. Shot and shattered the bone and infection set in from the time he was gone. No one has come forward with any information. He has information on his collar.

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