Family upset by 'slap on the wrist' charges after dog killed


Hauser, Idaho -“Nothing is going to undo the damage that was done."

A family grieving over the loss of their beloved dog, Hank.

"He passed away in Dakota's arms,” Jennifer Cook said.

This story starts back in late July.

Cook says her daughter, Dakota, and her boyfriend went to watch a softball game in Spokane and that Dakota had asked her boyfriend’s roommate, Austin Matott, to watch their dog.

“An hour at the ball game at around eight o'clock we received a phone call that Hank was hurt,” Cook said.

Dakota and her boyfriend rushed back to his home in Hauser only to pick up the dog and then head to the families vet in Spokane.

Cook says the veterinarian pronounced Hank dead at the hospital.

But, she says something wasn’t adding up, so that’s when they filed for an autopsy.

“Hank had blunt force trauma to his head, he had internal bleeding in his head and that five of his ribs were broke on one side and eight were broke on the other,” Dakota Goin said.

Dakota says that Matott had told her that Hank had fallen off their front steps.

KHQ has obtained the police report from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, the autopsy report, and a statement from the veterinarian in this case.

The statement from the vet says Hank’s injuries were similar to that of being hit by a car, beaten with an object or falling from three stories or higher.

According to the sheriff’s office, Austin Matott has been charged with a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals and another misdemeanor of beating or harassing animals.

“You can get a misdemeanor for ‘J-walking,’ it's a lot bigger than that to have the rage to beat a dog to death, it shouldn't just be a slap on the wrists,” Dakota said.

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