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Minn. deputies save puppy tossed from pickup during pursuit, arrest suspect

The puppy shivered for hours in subzero weather until deputies located and rescued him from a snowy freeway embankment the next morning


Photo/Facebook via Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office

By Paul Walsh
Star Tribune

RAMSEY COUNTY, Minn. — A multicity law enforcement chase of carjacking suspects this week in Ramsey County has a four-legged postscript.

The Sheriff’s Office says a pit bull puppy was thrown Monday night from a pickup truck that was being pursued, and he shivered for hours in subzero weather until deputies rescued him from a snowy freeway embankment the next morning.

A woman with a history of suspected animal cruelty was arrested moments after the chase ended.

Deputies rushed the puppy to an emergency veterinarian for treatment of a broken leg and other injuries that he is expected to survive, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

The deputies gave the pup the temporary name of Taho, and he’ll remain in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office and be fostered by a dog-loving employee.

The puppy “did not have tags or [an embedded identification] chip, and we’re working to determine its owner,” said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Linders.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Foundation is accepting donations to cover medical costs for Taho. Medical costs have totaled $4,500. Ongoing medical costs are estimated to total $7,500. Donations to help with Taho’s recovery are being accepted at

Since the money started coming in late Wednesday afternoon, there have been more than 200 donations topping $15,000 as of late Thursday morning, said foundation board member Kevin Day.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the community and very thankful to be able to support Taho’s needs,” Davy said.

Any donations above and beyond medical bills, Davy said, will go toward grants for police-community outreach events, youth programs, specialty Sheriff’s Office programs such as K-9, SWAT, Honor Guard, and various volunteer programs.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the mayhem began with what was thought to be a routine speeding stop:

About 11 p.m., a deputy tried to pull over a speeding vehicle near County Road C and Little Canada Road. But the driver took off in what deputies later learned was a stolen vehicle. The vehicle soon pulled over, but two men jumped out and tried to carjack another vehicle “while clearly displaying a handgun,” said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Linders. However, the carjacking failed, and the men returned to the pickup they had abandoned and drove off.

A second deputy joined the westbound pursuit on the wrong side of Interstate 694, just west of Lexington Avenue in Arden Hills, and used his squad car to stop the fleeing pickup.

The two men again jumped out and ran, but two women with them were apprehended. In the meantime, the fleeing men split up and carjacked separate vehicles. One of the vehicles was found abandoned in Mounds View, while the other had yet to be located.

Later investigation by the Sheriff’s Office revealed that as the suspects were driving the wrong way on I-694, the passenger’s side back door quickly opened. A deputy yelled, “Watch for a gun!”

From the open door, the suspects threw a white object that hit the freeway and rolled into the lanes of traffic between Lexington and Hamline avenues. Deputies reviewed the video and determined the white object was the puppy.

Deputies searched the next morning and found him alongside the freeway about 50 yards from where he was thrown. Temperature readings in that part of the Twin Cities bottomed out at 12 degrees below zero as the dog burrowed in the snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Linders said a 26-year-old among the two women detained in Arden Hills that night was jailed on suspicion of aiding auto theft and animal cruelty. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.

The woman and a male accomplice were involved in November 2021 in connection with the shooting of an acquaintance’s dog 10 to 12 times with a BB gun inside a stolen SUV, according to auto theft and animal cruelty charges filed in Hennepin County.

The two abandoned the wounded dog in Bloomington and drove off as the dog ran after the vehicle, the charges read. One of the BB shots cost the dog one of her eyes.

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