Accused Puppy Killer asks Judge to Throw Out Case
A Dakota County dog kennel owner accused of animal cruelty plans to challenge the constitutionality of the law used to charge her.
Sixty-one-year-old Dayna Bell faces 16 counts of animal cruelty. A criminal complaint says employees at Bell Kennels and Farm saw her drown puppies in buckets of water or by throwing them in a swimming pool with a cinder block tied to their necks.
Robert Miller, Bell's attorney, argues the state's animal cruelty law is overly broad and does not clearly define exactly what cruelty is. Miller also says Bell should not have been charged with 16 felony counts of animal cruelty since under state law he says felony counts result only when a person is cruel to a pet.
Miller argues Bell is a federally licensed commercial breeder who relies on the dogs for her livelihood and says the dogs were not pets.
Separately, lawmakers at the Capitol will likely consider a bill next regular session aimed at regulating commercial dog breeders. Surrounding state's enjoy protections Minnesota lacks.
Rep. John Lesch (DFL) St. Paul, says regulating commercial dog and cat breeders would make it more difficult for breeders to get away with abusing animals.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.