DECORAH, Iowa – A man accused of killing two dogs with an ax will undergo a mental evaluation.
Douglas Earl Usgaard, 21 of Decorah, is charged with two counts of animal torture. Authorities say he used an ax on September 14 to kill Maz, a 13-year-old Shih Tzu/Bichon, and Trina, a 14-year-old Labradoodle. Court documents state both dogs belonged to a member of Usgaard’s family.
On Tuesday, a Winneshiek County judge ordered a psychiatric competency examination of Usgaard to determine if he is fit to stand trial. The exam will be performed at the Iowa Medical and Classification Psychiatric Hospital.
A date for the exam has not been set. Results of the evaluation are to be submitted to the judge within 10 days of its completion.