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Charge against trainer accused of killing dogs upgraded to felony

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FORT ATKINSON (WKOW) -- The owner of a Fort Atkinson dog boarding and training facility accused of killing two of her clients' dogs is now facing a felony charge.

Tammy Flemming, who has told 27 News she is in the process of changing her last name back to Olson, was originally charged with mistreating animals - intentional or negligent violation, which is a Class A misdemeanor. The Jefferson County District Attorney's office has since upgraded the charge to mistreatment of animals, a Class I felony which carries a maximum sentence of three years and six months in prison.

Prosecutors indicated in a hearing Monday that they would move to dismiss the misdemeanor charge as they proceed with the felony case.

During Monday's appearance, Olson was ordered to stop engaging in animal training and to no longer care for animals she does not own.

In an interview with 27 News in October, Olson denied admitting to any kind of wrong-doing with Cooper, an eight-month-old husky mix she was training. She said she was working with the puppy when she noticed one of his hind legs giving out. When she took him off the block, Olson said the dog's entire body went limp.

"He went from looking at me directly, ready to do the next task, to not," Olson said. "In a matter of seconds."

A necropsy later found Cooper died of strangulation. About five weeks earlier, Chase Peterson said his family's one-year-old dog, Marley, died in Olson's care.

Peterson told 27 News it was his understanding Marley had somehow hung himself. Olson said she used a choke chain on Marley but denied doing anything to hurt the dog.

Olson is due back in court Dec. 28 for her initial appearance on the new felony charge. Dan Jardine, who is representing the dog owners' families, said he anticipates the misdemeanor charge will be dismissed then with the felony case proceeding.

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A. J. Bayatpour

Reporter, WKOW 27

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