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Belgrade man arrested, accused of abusing neighbor’s dog

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Feb 14 2013 10:18:25 AM MST
Updated On: Feb 14 2013 03:22:05 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Gallatin County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a Belgrade man accused of stealing his neighbor's dog and keeping it without food and water.

In December Doug and Cindy Baier reported their 7-month-old German shepherd, Token, missing.

They suspected their neighbor, David Wendel, may have been involved in the dog's disappearance.

Doug Baier told us, "We really feel the dog was over there and we feel that he's going to kill him."

Baier told NBC Montana he has a history with Wendel.

Court records detail tensions between the two dating back to 2010.  That is when Wendel allegedly fired a shotgun at Baier.

"I proceeded to watch him take a shotgun and point at me," said Baier.

And he says Wendel has tried to poison area dogs in the past.

"Mr. Wendel has been known to have antifreeze and use the antifreeze to kill dogs in the past," said Baier.

Investigators searching for Token say they found paw prints in the snow that led them to Wendel's home on Rocky Mountain Road in Belgrade.

They say during a search of the property Baier's dog was found in a small workshop where it was only 20 degrees and the dog was without food and water.

Baier says he is happy to have his dog back, but says he's noticed changes in the Token since he's been brought home.

"He's very anxious, he doesn't want to go in confined spaces at all."

Police arrested Wendel. He's been charged with two misdemeanors: one count of theft and one count of animal cruelty.