Preliminary hearing set for Rhinelander man accused of mistreating dogs
Tyler J. Schaul held on $3,000 cash bond
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A Feb. 6 preliminary hearing has been set in Oneida County Circuit Court for 20-year-old Rhinelander man accused of mistreating two dogs that died in the city last month.
Tyler J. Schaul, who remains in custody on a $3,000 cash bond, appeared in court Thursday via videoconference from the county jail for his adjourned initial appearance before Judge Michael W. Bloom.
Schaul has been charged with two felony counts of mistreatment of animals, two misdemeanor charges of failing to provide proper food to confined animals and another misdemeanor count of resisting an officer.
Upon conviction, the two felony counts alone carry a combined maximum possible penalty of three years of initial confinement in prison, followed by four years of extended supervision, and/or fines totaling $20,000.
Schaul is being represented by public defender Chad Lynch, who appeared in the courtroom Thursday along with district attorney Michael W. Schiek.
According to the criminal complaint, Schaul’s ex-girlfriend reported to police Jan. 27 that he told her about her two dogs dying. She had lived with Schaul at his residence on Arbutus Street until the beginning of December.
When two Rhinelander police officers responded to the scene and met Schaul at his residence, Schaul allegedly showed them a dead German shepherd on the bathroom floor with the dog having very little muscle mass and its bones very identifiable. The basement where the dog apparently lived was covered in feces.
The complaint states Schaul claimed to give the dog 3 pounds of venison and 1.5 pounds of dry dog food per day, but the dog’s condition did not reflect that. Schaul also claimed the dog died from eating chocolate, but the evidence allegedly did not support that as well.
Schaul also showed officers a dead pit bull in a detached, unheated garage, where dog was frozen in a plastic pet crate. The interior of the crate was covered in feces with the dog covered with feces as well. The pit pull also appeared extremely emaciated. Schaul claimed the pit bull froze to death while in a pet crate.
The court complaint further alleges Schaul claimed the German shepherd had broken through a storm window in the dining room several weeks ago when he was at work and the pit bull was in a crate in front of this window and was dead and frozen when Schaul returned from work. Though the heat was operating and the baseboard heat was alongside the kennel, Schaul claimed it was zero degrees in the house when he found the dog dead.
When an officer examined the window, however, there allegedly was no evidence the window was new or had been replaced, and Schaul could not produce a broken window.
At one point while interviewed by police, Schaul allegedly became upset and stated he would have answered the door with a shotgun if he knew it was police. Schaul then tried to enter his house and an officer stopped him. After Schaul allegedly struggled and resisted, he was then handcuffed and arrested.
Schaul stated he was in the process of moving out and intended to move to Illinois.