MN woman takes plea deal after deaths, maltreatment of animals

Karch mugshot
Karch mugshot(Wilkin County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 11:05 AM CDT
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WILKIN COUNTY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - A Foxhome woman accused of a number of disturbing crimes against dogs at her home has taken a plea deal.

40-year-old Michelle Karch is charged in Wilkin County Court with two felony counts of animal torture resulting in the death of two dogs, two felony counts of animal cruelty resulting in death, two misdemeanors for the deprivation of food, water and shelter to the dogs, as well as two gross misdemeanors of animal torture and animal torture. She’s pleaded guilty to 3 of the 8 counts, waived her jury trial and will be sentenced September 19th.

Wilkin County Deputies were called on June 18 for a report of two dead dogs. The person on the phone told dispatchers they dropped off their dog with Karch four months ago and stated when they came back, they found the dogs in Karch’s garage.

Court documents say deputies found one malnourished dog alive in Karch’s garage as well as the two deceased dogs. The living dog was taken to a Wahpeton veterinarian who court documents say told deputies the dog had no muscles on its hip bones.

Karch allegedly told investigators the dogs died of a disease which she did not know the name of, but could not provide vet paperwork confirming her claims. Karch later told deputies the dogs had parvo, however, court documents say she could not name the medications the dogs were taking.

A local veterinarian told officers the dog did not have parvo, instead stating the living dog was severely emaciated solely due to lack of food.

Officers were called for two more reports on June 21 about a dog tied up outside Karch’s property without food or water. When deputies arrived, they found the dog had no food or water and witnesses said it had been outside for nearly 12 hours.

A search warrant was executed at Karch’s home and property the next day. Court documents say deputies found cats who appeared to have no food or water, as well as a full litter box, and a pony and horse without food.

Court documents say one of the deputies told Karch this ‘was the most abhorrent conditions’ he had seen dogs being kept in his entire career.

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