Woman accused, killing family’s dog; charged in Waukesha County

WAUKESHA, Wis. - Waukesha County prosecutors have charged an 18-year-old woman for allegedly killing a family's dog while babysitting one of their children.

Kielee Sonnemann, 18, faces one count of mistreatment of animals with the use of a dangerous weapon.

On Monday, a Waukesha County Circuit Court commissioner set her bail at $15,000 cash.

<div>Kielee Sonnemann</div>
Kielee Sonnemann

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"This is just a very troubling situation all the way around, your Honor," said Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper in court on Monday, Jan. 29. "We have an act of violence that was perpetrated perhaps in the presence of a four-year-old child."

The criminal complaint filed Monday says a Sussex family hired Sonnemann to babysit their 4-year-old daughter Thursday night. When the mother returned home around 9 p.m., the family's 8-year-old Chihuahua, Batman, was missing.

Just as she told FOX6 on Sunday, the mother said Sonnemann even helped her look for Batman Thursday night. They searched the house, but they didn't find him.

On Friday, the family kept searching for Batman, including driving around the neighborhood and reporting him missing to the sheriff's department.

The criminal complaint says the family called 911 at 1:35 p.m. Friday to respond to the family's home for an animal complaint.

The family told investigators their 11-year-old daughter just returned from staying at her grandmother's house. The father said he found the dog hidden beneath blankets in a corner of her bedroom, with "blood all over the place".

<div>Batman</div>
Batman

According to the complaint, the father told deputies he suspected Sonnemann, who they'd hired as a babysitter the night before, because she was the only one in the house with their daughter. Sonnemann wasn't answering the family's calls, they said.

The family also had questions because they noticed their daughter's hair was cut.

Deputies found Batman with an apparent stab wound in his chest. Additionally, they say the dog "had a plastic bag over its head".

The complaint said deputies also reviewed surveillance video from inside the home.

At one point, it said the dog, Sonnemann and 4-year-old daughter were all visible in the living room. Later, they said Batman wasn't visible, and Sonnemann could be seen walking in the hallway where the dog was found dead.

The family also told deputies a pair of scissors was missing.

Deputies said they found a pair of scissors with what appeared to be blood and fur on them inside the top drawer of a dresser in the bedroom.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department then responded to Sonnemann's home to interview her.

Sonnemann told detectives she "just wanted the dog to leave her alone because he was biting her". She said she asked the dog to stop and tried "shooing" him away before putting him in the bedroom.

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The complaint said Sonnemann also told detectives there was "a lot of drama going on" and that she lashes out when she gets mad.

Detectives then asked Sonnemann if that was fair to lash out to the dog. According to the complaint, Sonnemann replied, "It seems like it."

Sonnemann then said she doesn't remember doing anything.

The complaint said Sonnemann remembers playing with the girl, painting her nails and having to cut her hair, because Sonnemann said she got nail polish in it that wouldn't come out.

While Sonnemann denied stabbing the dog and putting a bag over its head, the complaint said detectives asked whether it was possible she harmed the dog and didn't remember. Sonneman replied yes to that question, per the complaint.

Detectives then asked Sonnemann if they'd find her DNA on the bag over the dog's head. The complaint said Sonnemann responded, "It's kind of sounding like I did it."

They later asked if the 4-year-old girl was in the room with Sonnemann when "things were going on with the dog". Sonnemann said she didn't think so but that she didn't remember.

As part of her bond, the judge ordered Sonnemann not to have any contact with the victim's family. She also cannot babysit, cannot possess a weapon, and cannot be unsupervised with an animal or child.

Sonnemann is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 7.