Hayward Couple Faces Charges of Causing Death of Animals

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |

A Hayward, WI couple faces multiple charges of causing the death of an animal by mistreatment and intentional mistreatment of animals.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Angelita Stevens in Sawyer County Circuit Court, in July 2017, a puppy was brought into the Animal Care Clinic in Hayward, WI. The puppy was infested with hookworms and was suffering from not being taken care of properly. The people who brought in the puppy provided an address on Drytown Avenue where they had obtained the puppy from.

An investigation was conducted by the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Tribal Police Department. When officers responded to the residence on Drytown Avenue, they could smell a strong odor of something rotting or garbage. Officers saw a mother dog and three puppies. All four dogs were underweight, with rib bones and backbones very apparent. 

Officers were not able to locate any people when they knocked on the entrance doors of the residence.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that when officers walked around to the backyard of the residence, they found a deceased dog lying in the grass with flies and maggots on it. Inside of a dog house in the backyard, another deceased dog was found, with maggots coming out of its nose, mouth, and eyes. The backyard was infested with feces, flies, and maggots.

Ultimately officers were able to make contact with both Angelita Stevens and Vincent Stevens who had been living at the residence. According to the criminal complaint, Angelita told officers that she had been in and out of the hospital and had asked other family members to care for the dogs. When officers asked Angelita if she had been at the residence within the last couple of weeks, she said yes, however, she told the officers that she had not been aware that there were any dead dogs in the backyard.

The puppy that was first brought in to the Animal Clinic passed away, likely from the hookworm infestation, according to the criminal complaint.

Angelita and Vincent are both charged with 3 counts of Class I Felony Mistreatment of Animals, Resulting in the Animal’s Death, and 4 counts of Misdemeanor Mistreating Animals. Both Angelita and Vincent were placed on bail bonds by the Court with a condition that they are not allowed to possess any pets.

Angelita appeared in Sawyer County Circuit Court this week regarding her charges and is due back in court in April. Vincent is to appear next in May 2018 regarding his charges.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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