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Northfield Woman Accused of Drowning Puppies

Dayna Kristine Bell, 61, is charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty.

UPDATED: 11 a.m. Wednesday

A Northfield woman charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing dogs has posted bond and is allowed to continue to .

Dayna Kristine Bell, 61, who owns and operates Bell Kennels in Sciota Township, just northeast of Northfield, posted a $50,000 bond on Tuesday after making her first appearance in Dakota County District Court on the charges.

Read the full story.

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Original story posted at 9 a.m. Tuesday


A Northfield woman has been charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing dogs at her kennel.

Dayna Kristine Bell, 61, owns and operates Bell Kennels in Sciota Township.

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

A witness 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 witness also told authorities that Bell claimed to break the neck of a small dog that bit her.

Another witness, charges allege, 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 still 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.

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

Bell is expected to make her first court appearance Tuesday morning.

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Scott Fagerstrom (Editor) April 17, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Have you done business with this kennel? Did you see anything that struck you as unusual?
Lisa April 17, 2012 at 07:48 PM
HORRIBLE!!
Angelie April 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I hope she gets punished to the full extent of the law!!
Jenny Turek April 17, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Does anyone know what is to come of the dogs at her kennel? Will they be put up for adoption?
Phillip Emery April 17, 2012 at 09:29 PM
As far as I'm concerned, she's a serial killer, and should be tried as such.
Corey Butler Jr. April 18, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I'll see what I can find out, Jenny.
Mary April 18, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Our dog turned six today...on the very same day that this story hit the news. We bought our dog from this kennel! While our pup has been a wonderful family member, we've always wondered what made her disposition what it is. She is generally an anxious animal that seems skittish. She cries any time we leave her with others (family, the groomer, etc.). She does not travel with us because of her extreme anxiety...The revelation that she may have been abused at this kennel sheds some light on why she may be the way she is. She was three months old when we got her...
Michelle Hawkins-Hazelwood April 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM
If convicted in all likelyhood she will get more time and fine than a man would for beating his wife nearly to death or for commiting incest with his daughter.
Marcia Walters April 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
It is my understanding that she posted $50,000 bail so she can remain in contact with animals instead of $5,000 bail for no contact. Let us hope that the dogs remaining in her care receive humane treatment.
Nancy Johnson April 18, 2012 at 01:00 PM
How can a human be so cruel to innocent animals? Why was she breeding dogs and then doing this? Unfathomable.
Michael Gunderson April 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I personally talked to the workers who reported this lady. They have a list of stories that would make you ill. What makes me feel worse about this matter is her attempt to deny this went on? Drowning dogs by tossing them into a pool of water is super sick. There are actually worse things that may have taken place at her kennel.
Michael Clark April 18, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I think they should do unto her that which she did to these innocent animals!
Corey Butler Jr. April 18, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Michael, as someone who works in this profession, do you think this is just one of those (alleged) rare cases or do you think it happens more often and is just unreported?
Mary Malone April 18, 2012 at 03:26 PM
If you do a search of "puppy mills in Minnesota" you will find that this is not just a rare case. There are many that are worse, and most sell their puppies through pet stores. It would be wonderful if some laws could be passed here in Minnesota to put an end to all this suffering. http://www.animalarkshelter.org/animal/ArkArticles.nsf/ViewArticle?OpenForm&Photo=5E6DBB4C05A649E486257103004915F7
Corey Butler Jr. April 18, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Here's an updated story: http://patch.com/A-s5Qs
Phillip Emery April 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Not sure what your point is here, Michelle.
Sheryl Shaker April 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM
You are correct, Mary, that puppies should be purchased from responsible independent breeders, instead of from pet stores. If there was no market at pet stores, kennels like this would go out of business. An alternative would be to adopt an animal from a shelter.
jeanne wilton April 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I'm not surprised at all. I reported this kennel two years ago and I was dismissed. It was stated to me "she has a clean kennel". I hope justice will be served and I can't believe she was allowed to go back and "take care" of the dogs. Just think, because she paid more bail??? OMG if that is true, I'm outraged!!!!!
Mary Malone April 18, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Here is more info on adopting or purchasing a dog raised at a puppy mill: http://speakingforspot.com/blog/2012/04/15/puppy-mill-breeding-dogs-proof-of-the-psychological-price-they-pay/
Emily Randolph April 19, 2012 at 04:14 AM
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. 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. http://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Excuse-for-Bells-Kennels/195669547219448
Corey Butler Jr. April 19, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Thanks, Emily. I've put a story together about the Facebook group. http://patch.com/A-s7Nb
Puppy Owner April 19, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Jeanne - what did you report her for 2 years ago? I too have a puppy from her who has some very concerning socialization issues. Just curious what you saw/thought when you were there? Thanks!
Celina Fiorino April 20, 2012 at 09:39 AM
Why was she arrested for animal abuse and not MURDER?! She didn't just abuse dogs and puppies, she KILLED them! She should not have been allowed to post bail, or be in contact with the very animals she threatens!!!
jeanne wilton April 22, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Puppy Owner, I did not say I was there. It was reported as puppy mill. Sorry about your pup, at least it got out and is loved, keep on loving it!!!!!!

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