(Mankato, MN) – A Pemberton man faces criminal charges, accused of neglecting his dog in frigid January.

Gerrod Donovan Breezee, 47, was charged in Blue Earth County Court with misdemeanor counts of animal mistreatment, and petty misdemeanor animal cruelty.

According to the court documents, police responded on January 22 to a Pemberton home for a report of a neglected dog.  Behind a home in a fenced kennel, police found an older black lab that was particularly skinny and “actively shaking.”  The criminal complaint says the doghouse was not elevated off the ground, the interior floor was bare without bedding, and there were no food or water dishes in the kennel.

Neighbors told police that the dog was left outside and they didn’t see anyone feed or water the animal on a consistent basis.  One neighbor said he had fed the dog the previous winter, but Breezee had yelled at him and told him to stay off the yard, according to the complaint.

Breezee told police he feeds and waters the dog each day and had brought the lab in the house two days prior to the police visit.  He said he puts water in a roasting pan and dry food on the snow.  Police watched Breezee feed the dog and noted in the complaint that the dog “inhaled the food like he was extremely hungry.”   According to the complaint, the roasting pan was dug out of the snow, and was filled with brown leaves, indicating the pan hadn’t recently been filled with water.  Breezee admitted he’d not used the pan recently, but said there was snow for the dog to eat, according to the complaint.

The deputy instructed Breezee to take the dog inside and not to bring him outside without proper food and water, according to court documents.  He also recommended that Breeze elevate the dog’s shelter as required by Minnesota statute.

Temperatures between January 19 and January 22nd ranged from 7 degrees to 14 degrees for the high, with overnight lows falling to around 8 degrees below zero.

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