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Windom man arrested for animal abuse

WINDOM -- A man living in Windom is facing felony-level animal abuse after authorities found his dead Doberman frozen in the back yard with its mouth tied shut.

Chad Richard Danneman, 30, is charged in Cottonwood County District Court with mistreat animal-torture, mistreat animal-cruelty, fleeing a peace officer and disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, a relative had called to say she thought Danneman was using drugs and had a frozen dog in his back yard. On Feb. 13, a Windom officer and Cottonwood County deputy went to Danneman's residence around 8 a.m.

The driveway was not plowed, so the officers parked on the road and started walking toward the house. The complaint states an upstairs window came open and a man yelled out, asking the officers what they wanted. The man identified himself as Danneman.

When the officers asked to see his dog, he allegedly told them the dog was dead after having frozen in the back yard. Danneman referred to the dog's death as an act of God, and said he was sleeping when the dog froze.

When asked where the dog was, Danneman said it was still in the back yard and he would wait until summer to do something with it. When the officers requested to see the dog, Danneman told them he did not want them on his property and that they could walk on the neighbor's yard and look in his back yard, the complaint states.

The officers told Danneman he would be getting a citation in the mail. Danneman allegedly left the window and came back holding what looked like a recorder out the window. He asked them again what they were doing there, but the officers walked away.

Later, they went to the neighbor and asked permission to walk in his yard to look into Danneman's. They climbed in the snow as best they could near the fence, but could only see the top portion of a dog kennel.

After applying for a search warrant to search the premises for a Doberman dog, kennel, dog food, water bowls, items to keep the dog warm and evidence of ownership of the dog, six officers and deputies arrived at Danneman's residence shortly after 3:30 p.m. As they walked up to the house, Danneman opened a window above the garage and asked them why they were there. An officer told Danneman he had a search warrant and asked him to meet them at the door. Danneman allegedly yelled at them to leave his property and said they had no right to be there.

Because the walk to the front door was not shoveled, it took a bit of time for the officers to reach the door. The complaint states when they knocked they could hear Danneman yelling from behind the door to leave and saying a prayer to God to send them to hell. He refused to open the door, but the yelling stopped and they could hear someone running around in the house. The officers worked on the door with a crow bar and small sledge hammer, then realized Danneman was running down the driveway dropping papers as he went.

Officers pursued and caught Danneman, and asked him why he was running. They told him they wanted documentation for his dog, and Danneman said he would not give them the papers he was carrying. After being told he would be arrested if he refused to cooperate, Danneman started to walk away. When an officer attempted to physically restrain Danneman, they both ended up on the ground. He allegedly continued to resist and was tased. Some of the officers trying to restrain him got tangled in the taser wires and also received electrical shocks. They were finally able to get Danneman restrained and in a squad car and he was transported to the Cottonwood County Law Enforcement Center.

Two officers went back to the residence to execute the search warrant for the dog, veterinarian records or ownership papers. The door still would not open, then a deputy looked through a hole and saw that a 4x4 timber had been propped between the door and a wall. Another deputy called to say he would be bringing keys, so the two at the residence decided to look for the dog while they waited.

They observed a tan and black foot sticking out of a snow bank. The dog was found under the snow bank with a length of speaker wire tied tight around its muzzle. The officers looked in the snow as best they could, but did not find any water or food bowl. When they brushed all the snow of the dog's body, they could see outlines of hip bones and ribs. There was no shelter anywhere in the yard and the dog was frozen solid.

The dog's body was taken to a local vet for storage and to serve as evidence.

Bail was set at $3,000 with conditions including no drugs or alcohol and random testing, or $10,000 without conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Danneman, who has also lived in Slayton, Lake Wilson and Chandler, has been charged in the past with crimes that run from assault to drugs, and has previous convictions for terroristic threat, controlled substance possession, disorderly conduct, trespass, giving a false name to peace officers, driving while impaired and issuing dishonored checks.