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Benjamin Stavaas, accused dog throat slasher, heads to trial

Benjamin Stavaas is accused of slashing a dog's throat and leaving it to die.
Benjamin Stavaas is accused of slashing a dog's throat and leaving it to die.

Benjamin Stavaas may just be the most heartless worm ever to grace a cell at the Otter Tail County jail, standing accused as he does of slitting the throat of a German Shepherd mix last June in Fergus Falls and leaving the wounded dog to die.

But Star the dog didn't die. And Stavaas was charged last July with two felony counts, two misdemeanors, and two gross misdemeanors related to the witless act of animal cruelty.

Then, instead of evidencing just a little remorse, and showing up for his appointed court date, he took off and got into more trouble.

Colorado cops busted him on burglary, theft, and criminal mischief charges in October after he tried to rob a liquor store, and he was sentenced to two years of probation before returning to Minnesota to face the music for trying to kill the dog.

Now animal rights activists are hounding Stavaas as his case makes its way through the Otter Tail County courts. They were on hand Monday for an omnibus hearing, and plan to attend his trial when it gets going next month.

Ericka Stoltenberg, who manages the Humane Society of Otter Tail County's shelter, told the Fergus Falls Journal that she hopes Stavaas "gets what he deserves," including up to two years in prison and a possible $5,000 fine.

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