LAPORTE | A Westville-area man is charged with severely beating his malnourished dog after the pet killed one of the chickens he kept at his mobile home.
Kurt Norem also could face additional charges after authorities said more neglected dogs were found a week later at his residence, where rabbits and a turkey were housed in outdoor cages.
Norem, 47, is charged in LaPorte Superior Court 3 with two counts of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal.
A pretrial conference in the case is scheduled July 2.
The case against Norem began May 4 when LaPorte County sheriff's deputies were called to the D & B Trailer Park in the 7900 block of West U.S. 6 and found the very thin dog with a swollen left eye and cuts on the front of its legs and nose.
Norem admitted beating the dog, claiming the animal was supposed to protect his chickens but wound up killing one of the birds, police said.
Police said the dog was on a chain and the birds were allowed to roam free but the dead chicken strayed within reach of the dog.
At one point, Norem reached for the dead chicken on the ground despite being told not to, Capt. Jon Keene said.
Norem then removed a brown egg from the carcass, saying, "I just wanna get the egg," Keene said.
The dog was taken to the LaPorte County Small Animal Shelter, where she is recovering.
On May 14, police said sheriff's deputies along with LaPorte County Animal Control Director Jane Bernard went back to the residence with a warrant for Norem's arrest.
Nobody answered the door, but a search warrant was obtained to go inside the mostly boarded-up trailer with no water or electric hookups, police said.
Three female dachshunds were discovered in a single small plastic crate and a Belgian malinois was found in a large metal cage.
According to police, there was no food or water left for the dogs and they were subject to very warm conditions in the trailer, which was sealed up except for a tiny window that was open.
The four dogs also were taken to the animal shelter.
"I believe they were malnourished, emaciated," said LaPorte County Police Chief of Detectives Pat Cicero.
A report involving the four dogs was given to prosecutors to decide whether to seek additional charges against Norem and another woman living with him, police said.