Man sentenced for choking dog, another offense

A 53-year-old Minot man will serve about 60 days in jail for choking his dog on Jan. 23 and for being drunk and in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on March 8 for the third time in three years.

Wesley John Peltier pleaded guilty on Wednesday in district court to Class A misdemeanor animal abuse and to Class A misdemeanor actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed with the court in the animal abuse case, police were called to Peltier’s neighborhood after someone called to complain that Peltier kept going outside his house and yelling and then going back inside. After they responded, police observed that Peltier had left his dog outside in the fenced backyard and it was 13 degrees outside. An officer reported watching Peltier holding the dog by its neck and lifting it off the ground by its neck. He appeared to be strangling the dog. The officer also saw Peltier hit the dog and slam the animal onto the ground. Peltier, who appeared to be drunk, was arrested. The dog was taken to the pound.

On Wednesday, Judge Gary Lee sentenced Peltier to 360 days, with all suspended except for 60 days. Peltier will be on supervised probation for one year. He will also receive credit for seven days in jail. Lee also ordered Peltier to surrender the dog to the Souris Valley Animal Shelter and not to own any animals while he is on probation. He was also ordered to pay $625 in court costs. Lee reserved restitution for 90 days and may order Peltier to pay for the dog’s veterinary expenses.

For the actual physical control charge, the judge sentenced Peltier to 360 days in jail, with a requirement that he first serve 60 days, concurrent with the sentence for the animal abuse charge. He will get credit for five days served and be on supervised probation for one year. Lee also ordered Peltier to turn in his license plates, to participate in the 24/7 Sobriety Program and to attend a victim impact panel, as well as to pay $2,325 in court costs. Peltier had already completed a chemical dependency evaluation. Because of that, his lawyers worked out a plea deal that called for him to spend 60 days in jail instead of the 120 days that would have otherwise been ordered.

– Andrea Johnson