WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 11, 2010, 03:12 PM

Authorities believe they are closer to arresting a man accused of slitting his dog's throat

(WDAY TV) - A break in the case of a Battle Lake man on the run, accused of brutally slitting the throat of his one year old dog then leaving her for dead. We've followed the torture of Star, since mid-summer. Tonight, authorities believe they are one step closer to arresting her owner, a fugitive.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Otter Tail County authorities plan to give out a news release tomorrow morning, but tonight, WDAY 6 News is learning about the latest developments in this high profile investigation; an investigation now spanning several states.

Police have been looking for this man, Benjamin Stavaas since July. He's charged with six animal cruelty charges; two felonies.

Back in June, Star, a German Sheppard mix, was found in the wild near Fergus Falls. Someone slit her throat twice. The cuts nearly hit Star's major veins, arteries, and trachea.

The case sparked outrage from animal rights activists and anyone who likes animals. Authorities traced Star to Stavaas, but he skipped out on court.

Now, a missing woman, believed to be with him, has been found fine in Denver, Colorado. She isn't giving details about Stavaas's whereabouts. Still, Star's caretaker says this is one step closer to justice.

“Part of it gives me hope knowing we're kind of closing in on where he is and then part of it makes me feel a little bit hopeless in a way because so close but nothing has happened.”

Otter Tail County authorities declined our request for an on camera interview. Our calls to Denver police were not returned. We did check with the Denver jail. It has no record of Stavaas being arrested the past two weeks. As for Star, she's once again looking for foster care. The dog is at the humane society.