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Man claims Milnor kennel’s maltreatment led to death, Sargent County investigating

“Always know that there’s a chance it could happen to your dog. Don’t just trust anyone with your fur babies.”
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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MILNOR, N.D. (Valley News Live) - An investigation is underway in Sargent County after a man claims a Milnor dog kennel’s maltreatment led to his dog’s death.

It’s a story many of you sent to us on Facebook after the man made a post stating his four-year-old Siberian Husky, Echo was dropped off at the kennel last Thursday. He states when he picked the dog up on Sunday, it was in dire straits and died less than two hours later. Valley News Live is not naming the kennel as no one has yet been charged.

“That’s my best friend. She wasn’t just a dog,” Devin Engstrom said.

It was only Engstrom’s second time ever boarding Echo and the first time using the kennel in Milnor, as he packed up for a four-day camping trip with his fiancé and two kids.

“We came across them on Facebook and the reviews looked good. We went and visited them before we dropped off and everything seemed fine,” Engstrom said.

Engstrom says Echo was a happy and healthy dog when they dropped her off Thursday, but says the nightmare started Sunday afternoon when they went to pick her up.

“(The kennel) claims to have brought her outside four times a day and made sure she was eating and drinking, but Echo was in a small pet carrier instead of the large one,” Engstrom said. “She was incoherent, she couldn’t stand up, she couldn’t keep her head up, she couldn’t put her tongue in her mouth. Her mouth was matted shut when we first picked her up. She had sores all over her legs from soaking in her own waste.”

Echo was immediately brought to a vet in Lisbon where Engstrom says she had a temperature of 108° F. Officials say a baseline temperature for Huskies is around 101° F.

The Sargent County Sheriff’s Office says the official cause of death has been ruled a heat stroke.

“Within an hour and a half of picking her up, she died,” Engstrom said.

When asked if he or his family would ever harm their dog, Engstrom says ‘absolutely not.’

“She’s the exact same as my kids. She was an important role in my family,” he said.

Engstrom says he now has a lawyer and is pushing hard for justice. He says he wants the kennel’s license to be pulled and shut down for good.

“I don’t care about a settlement right now. I’m not concerned with any of that right now. I just want justice for Echo,” he said. “Always know that there’s a chance it could happen to your dog. Don’t just trust anyone with your fur babies.”

Echo’s body is now at NDSU undergoing a necropsy. Sargent County investigators say once those results come in, their findings will be forwarded to the state’s attorney for consideration of charges.

We reached out multiple times to the Milnor kennel this week and in a Wednesday text they state they will not be commenting until the investigation is over.

Both the company’s Facebook and Google review pages have been taken down since the incident.

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