Charges follow dog’s killing
Deputy followed bloody trail
Jeffrey L. Buttles, 59, Manawa, was charged Tuesday, Jan. 29 with felony mistreatment of animal causing death and obstructing an officer.
On Sunday, Jan. 13, Justin Beese, who lives on State Highway 22/110 in the town of Little Wolf, reported his Great Dane, Gypsy, was missing.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the same man reported he had discovered a blood trail behind Buttles’ home and he believed Buttles shot the dog.
When Waupaca County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Wiskirchen arrived at Buttles’ home, he found Buttles’ wife in the garage.
Buttles’ wife told Wiskirchen that Buttles had informed her he shot a coyote on Sunday.
Wiskirchen followed a trail of large dog prints and blood to where they ended near a deer stand. He also reported seeing what appeared to be ATV tracks.
The deputy also reported finding numerous dog tracks – some fresh, some older – in the field behind Buttles’ home.
Wiskirchen later spoke with Buttles over the phone.
According to the criminal complaint, Buttles initially told Wiskirchen he shot a coyote around 6:45 a.m. Sunday. He said he disposed of the coyote in the river because he feared he would get in trouble since he did not have a small game license.
A short time later, Buttles met Wiskirchen and Sgt. Scott Lewis at Lindsey Park, in Manawa.
Buttles reportedly said he found a big black dog in his garage, barking and growling at him. He shut the service door, trapping the dog inside the garage.
He said he then retrieved a .22-caliber pistol, opened the door and let the Great Dane run out, the complaint says.
Buttles said he shot at the dog, which then ran away.
He then reportedly said he saw a big white Great Dane out in the field behind his home. He retrieved a .17 HMR rifle, shot at that dog from his porch and hit it.
Buttles said he picked up the Great Dane in his ATV, then loaded it into the back of his truck and dumped it in the south branch of the Little Wolf River near the intersection of Waupaca Road and Granite Quarry Road, according to the complaint.
Wiskirchen said he was unable to find the Great Dane or any signs a dog had been dumped there.
Buttles told investigators the dogs had been coming onto his property for eight months and he was sick of it.
Buttles was released from custody on a $1,000 signature bond.