Archived Story

Chihuahua death sparks shock and outrage

Published 10:01am Thursday, November 3, 2011

Column: Thanks for Listening

What is the world coming to?

Just this past week, a young man, age 17 from Albert Lea, was charged with violently killing his family’s dog. He allegedly used a brick to smash in the skull of the dog, a male Chihuahua, on the porch of his home on Oct. 13.

The officer said the dog was found lying next to a cinder block with a large pool of blood underneath it. The teenager reportedly set the dog on the cinder block and then used a paver brick to strike it in the head.

Outrage was clearly my first reaction. There is no reason to ever harm a defenseless animal. It made me sick. Still does.

But with further reflection, it is clear the boy needs help. How did he get this way? Being mean to pets doesn’t just happen. Someone forgot to love him, shoved him aside and left him very lonely and angry. Someone failed to teach him right from wrong. Teenage boys can be seriously confused about the world around them.

Jail? It seems like the right thing to do for what looks like an adult-type of crime, but would that only harden the boy into a lifelong criminal? Perhaps a mental evaluation and counseling for him is the grown-up route to saving a 17-year-old from going down the wrong path. Maybe a combination of both is the best.

It’s hard to not just want a strict punishment. We’ll see what the courts bring.


Off to Kuwait

Good luck to Kelli Lageson while she is in Kuwait with our local heroes.

Kelli leaves Friday and will be reporting on our local National Guard unit starting this weekend. Covering our local heroes is our No. 1 priority at the Tribune, and I am so proud of Kelli and the rest of our team. We will make all efforts to bring you all the news as our soldiers do their duty during Operation New Dawn.


Wine anyone?

Friday is the annual United Way wine tasting event at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. This is a great time to stock up on holiday wine, gifts, and join your friends in raising money for an amazing cause. Join Ann Austin, Fountain Warehouse Liquor and the rest of the United Way crew as we kick off a festive holiday season.



I need to do a shout out — or a write out — to three friends I recently made who are huge University of Minnesota fans and are basking in the most recent win over Iowa. Here is to my friends Joe Bach, Amber Lynn Stratton and Ryan Finnegan.


Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.