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Northfield Woman Charged with Killing Dogs Posts Bond, Allowed to Work with Animals

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

A Northfield woman charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty for  in her care has posted bond and is allowed to continue to work with animals.

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.

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."

Bell's initial charges included eight felony counts of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. All 16 counts are now felony charges, according to an updated criminal complaint.

Each charge 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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Sharlotte White April 20, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Send a message to the injustice system and vote those sorry judges out of office. It always boils down to money! Drown that piece of garbage and stick her in the freezer.
donna anderson April 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Y is anyone that has charges against them for animal cruelty allowed to. continue working with animals. She is heartless n the judge shouldnt allow to work or have any animals n her possession. Maybe if she was made to serve time someone would hold her head in the toilet until she can't breathe then let her up n repeat then whip up in her good. She deserves no sympathy!
Michelle Steinmetz April 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM
This woman is disgusting!!!! It makes me sick reading this. She deserves to ROT IN JAIL!!!!
the old bird April 20, 2012 at 12:38 AM
so despicable. jail is too good for this woman. when will the legislaters punish people accordingly ? it seems the only thing these poor pups did wrong was to be born and put into this nightmare. i hope karma is really true.
Maria April 20, 2012 at 01:50 AM
well is two years per felony account so it would be 32 years in total... I know is not enough.. nothing would ever be enough for her to pay for what she did.. but she is 60 if she gets the 32 years she would die in jail and wouldn't be able to hurt anymore animals..
Hilda pena April 20, 2012 at 03:17 AM
My grandmother always said... Thing left to the lord is a great choice of justice.... I believe....
Barbara April 20, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Why is it that people that do either horrible or serious offenses to animals and all they get is a small fine and then told not to handle animals again when you know they are going to do it anyway. There is something mentally wrong with her and others that have to go out of there way and hurt innocence animals. I think she needs to do prison time plus a hefty fine. Then her husband has the nerve and tell us she wouldn't hurt anything. Well, apparently the employees had enough and saw enough to report her and I am glad they did. I think that she needs to be banned totally from even having a pet at all! Thank God for the employees that turned her ass in! My prayers are with the poor puppies!
Mary April 20, 2012 at 07:53 AM
WHAT is wrong with this woman? Seriously, she must have something wrong with her brain to drown dogs and puppies. If she, "wouldn't hurt a flea," then where did the supposed frozen dogs in individual freezer bags idea come from? This lady is warped and needs to go to jail. I don't know who thinks its ok for her to be around animals while out on bail...
sandy f gardner April 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM
there is a spot in hell with her name on it
Corey Butler Jr. April 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Nikki VanDyke, your comment has been removed because you used profane language, which violates our Terms of Use.
James Wood April 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM
President Obama in his own words, in his own book: ATE DOG. By BYRON TAU | 4/18/12 6:39 AM EDT The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher unearths this quote from President Obama in his memoir "Dreams From My Father" where Obama writes about eating dog meat during his time in Indonesia: “With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”
Karine Ravetto April 20, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Speech Police anybody. hahahahaha
Karine Ravetto April 20, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Speech FiveO
Janet Jones April 20, 2012 at 07:59 PM
It's called "innocent until proven guilty" . . .
Resident April 20, 2012 at 08:22 PM
@Janet Jones: It's called ridiculously unjust!
Resident April 20, 2012 at 08:25 PM
OMG, this women is satan spawn.
tiffany obrien April 20, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I agree with Gail, there has to be something we can do, is there a petition for this? One with enough signatures and the courts will take away her right to work with animals? Anything like that? I mean i am ready to grab a picket sign and march into her front yard if i have to!! We need to put a stop to her behavior before her filth leads to a missing child or more dead animals!!!
Kiki McAdam April 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM
@Janet Jones: What more proof do you want?! LIVE VIDEO of her PUTTING the dogs in the freezer?! This is CRAP! NO WAY should this woman be allowed anywhere near an animal again!
Kiki McAdam April 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM
HOW IN HELL could any just, effective court system allow her to have ANY contact with animals again -- regardless of the $$ she paid?! We have ALL got to step up and start speaking out, introducing, sponsoring and enforcing stricter laws & punishments and VOTING for those who will do the same!!
Janet Jones April 21, 2012 at 02:19 AM
@KiKi and @Resident - the person asked "why" posting bond was possible and I explained the legal reason for it. Nothing more, nothing less. It is the way the legal system works. Don't shoot the messenger. . . geeez.
Kathy List April 21, 2012 at 05:29 AM
This woman is a criminal and should be given a sentence equal to the crime she had done. Equal would be death by drowning, but this is not something that is allowed to be. So we can only hope the people who are involved in sentencing her give her the max penalty of 36 years in prison. Then let the prisoners have a go at her. For the people that live in this area, you need to let your voice be heard, tell your officials, representatives, and judges that nothing less than 36 years is acceptable In most of the US judges are appointed or voted in. You pay their salaries, let them know that you want justice for those poor puppies.
jeanne wilton April 21, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Minnesota is so behind in animal cruelty laws! Folks ARE becoming more aware, thanks heavens...... To allow her to go back with the dogs is because she paid big bucks is an outrage. Do judges get kick backs for getting more money for the state or county?
Liz Getting Mullens April 23, 2012 at 05:18 AM
She looks like a mean sicko. She is disgusting and deserves the same to her what she did to those puppies.
CTwitch April 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I am a republican and DO NOT abuse animals. PLease leave rediculous politics and staement like that out of this. Maybe she is a democrate and living off the state... If she was really working she would not have time to drown puppies. sounds just as rediculous doesn't it?
CTwitch April 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Keep buying dogs from pet stores folks and non repitable breeders and people like this willl keep popping up.
Jane Johnson April 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Our country was founded on people's rights to due process. Remember the Salem Witch hunts ? Innocent people burned and killed because of what some sad people claimed they saw a person doing that were completely false. I hope we have come a long way since those days. We have a legal system, let it play out. All the facts have to come out. God Bless America ! If you believe everything you read and hear without digging deeper, I feel sorry for you. Even if this is all true, it has to play out, just let the system work the way it is supposed to. Rumor has it she gave employment opportunities at times to the unemployable, mentally challenged, to let them work with puppies and dogs and give them some dignity and joy and a chance to earn a few dollars, so what some of those employees might say could be totally "cuckoo for cocoa puffs" stuff you know what I mean ?
Elizabeth Larson May 03, 2012 at 04:41 PM
What kind of judges do we have in Minnesota??
Resident May 10, 2012 at 07:15 AM
People that hurt animals sicken me to pieces. How tough do you really think you are, when you're hurting that defenseless creature? Pets are MORE than just animals, they are our family members.
Sam B. January 01, 2013 at 01:23 AM
I hope she gets what's coming to her.
Karen January 29, 2013 at 09:25 AM
We have crap judges in MN....They all need to be removed!! :)

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