By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All Carrie Dolsen and her family have left of their 4-year-old rescue dog, Diesel, are memories and photographs.

“He was like our child. We needed him as much as he needed us,” Dolsen said.

Diesel had a tendency to run away from time to time, and that is what he did on June 3 in Good Thunder. But on that day, he did not come home.

“My mom was crying and I just knew it by the way she was crying that he died,” said Carrie’s 8-year-old son, Lyryk.

diesel 1 He Was Like Our Child: Man Accused Of Killing Neighbors Dog

(credit: Carrie Dolsen)

According to criminal records filed in Blue Earth County, the Dolsen’s 63-year-old neighbor, Brian Johnson, admitted to shooting the dog with a pellet gun after the animal wandered into his yard.

He told police that he was tired of the dog peeing on his trees, which he said were dying as a result. He also expressed concern that the dog would be aggressive toward his grandchildren, although he admitted that he never saw the animal behave in that way.

Before the shooting, Dolsen claims Johnson had never expressed his concerns about the dog to her.

Johnson is now charged with one felony count of mistreatment of animals. His attorney, Jim Kuettner, sent WCCO-TV the following statement:

Mr. Johnson was familiar with Diesel, his neighbor’s dog. Mr. Johnson was saddened to hear about the dog’s passing. Beyond that, there is more to the story but we will wait until the court process resolves itself.

Johnson’s first court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

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