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Man charged with animal mistreatment
MONROE - A Belleville man who was arrested in June and later had three dogs seized from his property has been charged with intentionally mistreating animals and two counts of obstructing an officer.

Bradley D. Zweifel, 40, allowed two of his pit bulls to attack and injure two miniature horses he owned, killing one, and lied about it to investigators, according to a criminal complaint filed in Green County Circuit Court July 17.

An officer reportedly euthanized the surviving horse June 3 after police received a tip that Zweifel "was watching one of his dogs attack a miniature horse, and it was a pure bloodbath."

Police immediately responded to the property, located in the N7900 block of County CC, and found the horse severely wounded.

According to the complaint, one of its legs had been gnawed, its face was gashed, and it was unsteady on its feet, repeatedly falling down until it stopped trying to get back up.

An officer told Zweifel the horse needed to be euthanized to prevent further suffering, according to police reports, and after Zweifel agreed, police shot the animal.

When investigators asked Zweifel which dog had injured the horse, he told them he

didn't know how the horse

had been attacked and that a wild coyote may have been responsible, court documents show.

Officers noted in their reports that they observed one of the dogs had dried blood on its chest.

The tipster, who initially requested to remain anonymous but later agreed to make a recorded statement, told officers he has seen Zweifel wiping blood off of the dogs in the past, court documents indicate.

According to the tipster's testimony, Zweifel unchained two of his dogs June 3 so they could run around. Meanwhile, the tipster said, the horse was not in its usual location - an enclosed horse pen - so it could eat grass.

According to the complaint, the tipster said when he saw the dogs mauling the horse, "he was so scared that he took off running," was "just about in tears," and immediately contacted police.

The tipster reportedly told police that Zweifel "must have known that was happening," referring to the attack.

Police also allegedly received information from the tipster that all three of Zweifel's pit bulls were involved in a deadly attack on another miniature horse in April, because they were all "covered in blood." The tipster told investigators he helped Zweifel bury the horse on Zweifel's property, according to court documents.

After dispatching the horse June 3, an officer asked about the other horse and Zweifel said he no longer had it, according to the complaint. Police later reportedly found where the horse was buried.

Zweifel was arrested June 5 but was not charged until July 20, police files show. Police seized the three dogs June 23, according to Green County Sheriff's Department Humane Deputy Scott Ellefson.

Court records indicate Zweifel is free on bail after signing a $5,000 signature bond July 20. He is ordered to send a written notification to the Green County District Attorney's office if he buys any "equine or canine animal."

He has a pre-trial conference Aug. 25.

Preventing someone from owning animals requires a conviction and a court order, Green County Sheriff Mark Rohloff said. Wisconsin law stipulates that five years is the longest amount of time someone can be banned from having animals.