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'No Excuse for Bell Kennels' Facebook Group Forms Following Animal Cruelty Charges Against Northfield Breeder

Dayna Kristine Bell, 61, who owns and operates Bell Kennels in Sciota Township just northeast of Northfield, is charged with 16 felony counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing dogs.

Pet lovers outraged by the alleged killing of puppies and dogs by rural Northfield resident Dayna Kristine Bell have taken to the Internet to air grievances and concerns.

"The rescue community has created a page on facebook to encourage everyone outraged about this story to join our efforts to have our voices heard," wrote Emily Randolph on a Northfield Patch story about the charges. "Allowing this woman to post bond and return home to the very animals she has been mistreating is nothing but a blatant loophole in the system."

The Facebook page is called "No Excuse for Bell Kennels" and has more than 80 people on it after being created late Wednesday night.

Bell, 61, who owns and operates Bell Kennels in Sciota Township just northeast of Northfield, is charged with 16 felony counts of animal cruelty for .

On Tuesday, she posted a after making her first apperance in Dakota County District Court. The bond allows for her to continue to work with animals.

The $50,000 bond's conditions include keeping her attorney and the court informed of her current address, no contact with the victims, remain law-abiding and make all future court appearances.

Bell could have posted a $10,000 bond with more conditions, which would have called for no contact or possession of animals, according to the Dakota County Attorney's Office.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the court, the Dakota County Sheriff's Office received a report of cruelty and maltreatment of animals by Bell in September 2011.

A former employee reported that Bell was drowning puppies, in one case taking a rope that was attached to a cinder block and tying it around a puppy's neck and throwing the block and puppy into a pool, according to the complaint.

The former employee also told authorities that Bell claimed to break the neck of a small dog that bit her and then said, "That (expletive) will never bother any of us again. I broke its damn neck."

Another witness, also a former employee, told police that Bell put a puppy in a bucket of water and then placed another bucket on top to hold the puppy down. 

When investigators searched Bell's property, they found 10 small breed adult dogs in individual plastic bags in a freezer chest believed to have been put in the freezer while wet, according to the complaint.

"The abuse of animals in the manner alleged in this criminal complaint is unconscionable," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a press release.

Bell's husband, Dave Johnson, told the Pioneer Press that the claims are lies and that his wife "wouldn't hurt a flea."

Each of the 16 felony charges carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Bell next appears in court July 23.

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Penny Hillemann April 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Interesting: "The $50,000 bond's conditions include ... no contact with the victims ... Bell could have posted a $10,000 bond with more conditions, which would have called for no contact or possession of animals..." So who are the "victims" she's prohibited from having contact with while still being allowed to have contact with or possession of animals? The dead ones?
Barb Palmquist April 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM
What are people thinking to Allowed her to work with Animals she should work with the dead ones only and not live ones.
Mike Carlier April 20, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Is it just my limited perception, or does Dakota County's list of successful prosecutions mostly include defendants who entered guilty pleas? I hope that this one doesn't get away if she really committed the crime.
linda sina July 24, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I hope Dakota County does the right thing and sets an example for these people that should have nothing to do with animals-----
Sandy Forliti July 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Throw the book at her, set an example to all the other greedy people who do this!
jt July 29, 2012 at 06:07 PM
treat her as she treats the animals

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