Neighbor charged, Portage family wants answers after dog dies

PORTAGE (WKOW) -- A family is mourning the loss of their dog who they say was attacked so badly, she had to be euthanized. 

In February, Brandy and Eric Rose hired their neighbor to fix a speaker system in their living room. 

"He needed some brackets for (the) speakers. So, my friend and I left to go get the brackets," said Brandy. 

At the time, Eric was home with their two children. He said the kids were playing around and he could tell they were disturbing their neighbor, Andrew Collette, while he worked. Rose said Collette was so angry at the kids, Rose decided to take the kids and go to a nearby park. 

"For some reason, I felt something was funny. So, I called my husband about 15 minutes later and said, 'Did you take Pepe with you?'," she said. "She likes to bark a lot."

He didn't take her to the park. And when Brandy got home from the store, she knew something was wrong.

"Our dog, Pepe, wasn't barking when we pulled in," she explained.

After Rose and her friend searched outside and in her basement, Rose said Collette told her Pepe was inside. They eventually found the dog under a bed in the house. 

"When she pulled her out, her eye was just bulging out of her head," Brandy said. "She was just lifeless."

She took Pepe to a veterinarian in Lodi. The vet determined Pepe suffered head trauma, lung contusions, broken ribs and a deflated lung. The injuries were so bad, Pepe had to be put down. 

Police arrested Andrew Collette and charged him with mistreatment of animals. Collette told police Pepe was bouncing up against the window when it broke and then the dog ran away, according to a criminal complaint. 

Portage police also spoke with Collette's girlfriend. She told police she's witnessed Collette abusing her dogs and cats before. 

But the Rose family said they are also concerned after learning more about Collette's past. He's been convicted of several felony crimes, including sexual assault, arson and bail jumping. 

"He would have never been in my house if I would have known, ever," Brandy added. 

Now, Eric is just glad he got his kids out of there, but now wishes he would have taken Pepe, too. 

"I could have been outside with one of them playing ball. He could've kicked the other one to death. I mean, that was just running through my head the whole time," Eric said. 

Now, the family is alerting others, who may want to think twice before letting someone in your home. 

"Be careful with your neighbors, I guess," said Brandy. 

If found guilty, Collette could face three-and-a-half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

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