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Viroqua man accused of animal abuse for death of horse, while second horse had to be euthanized



The discovery of a dead horse outside a Vernon County residence has led to animal abuse charges against a 27-year-old man.


Kaden Hartje of Viroqua is charged with seven criminal counts, including failure to provide sufficient food or water for an animal and mistreatment of animals causing death.

Sheriff’s officers investigated the horse’s death at Hartje’s home on Jan. 17. A second horse at the site was euthanized.

Hartje was out-of-town, but cooperated with officers. He was arrested this week, and his next court appearance is on February 28th.

Other animals were taken to new shelter by the time Hartje was arrested. Meth and marijuana were found in searches of two vehicles.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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