Gillette Woman Moves, Two Dogs Found Dead Locked In Kennel Three Months Later

A pair of dogs left locked in a Gillette mobile home were found dead Wednesday, three months after their owner moved out.

June 23, 20233 min read

Gillette City Hall
Gillette City Hall (City of Gillette via Facebook)

A pair of dogs left locked in a Gillette mobile home were found dead Wednesday, three months after their owner moved out.

Gillette Police Department Cpl. Ryan. Mahylis said when a crew showed up to clean the home, they found a puppy and an adult dog locked in a kennel, both dead. The 23-year-old woman who lived there, also believed to be the dogs’ owner, could face felony animal cruelty charges if authorities find her.

“It’s not clear to us at this time what the direct cause was of the dogs’ deaths, due to decay, but they were obviously not given adequate care,” Mahylis said.

Police don’t know where the owner is or exactly why she moved out.

“There wasn’t clear information at this time” about what prompted the 23-year-old woman to leave, Mahylis said. “Based off the limited information I have at this time, there was some sort of civil dispute over, basically, monetary matters — for lot rent.”

‘Hurts My Heart’

When she learned of the death of the dogs, and how they died, Mary Melaragno said she was “devastated.”

Melaragno is founder and president of Gillette-based Fur Kids Foundation, an animal welfare group that supports local pets and their owners.

She said imagining how those dogs likely starved to death in deteriorating conditions “hurts my heart.”

“Just thinking about how they were in their own mess and waste, with no food and water, it just turns your stomach,” she said. “I do wish there was more (legally) we could do in these cases. Hopefully they can find whoever owned them … and can get some justice.”

Didn’t Have To Happen

Especially frustrating for Melaragno is how those dogs didn’t have to die.

If their owner had to move and couldn’t take them with her, it would’ve taken almost no effort to find someone who would look out for them, she said.

“Oh, 100% people would have stepped up,” she said. “All she had to do was post something and say, ‘Hey, I need help.’ Tons of people would’ve come and gotten those dogs.

“At the Fur Kids Foundation, we don’t foster or house animals, but if somebody called us and said they couldn’t care for their pets or had to leave them, we would have had a board member over to take them to the shelter or give recommendation for rescues.”

Malaragno said she heard the older dog may have been in the kennel because it wasn’t house trained.

But leaving them without food, water or even a way out to at least roam around to get noticed and picked up by animal control is something Melaragno said she can’t wrap her head around.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “I can’t put my brain into it. My heart breaks for those dogs.”

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