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Owner of dogs that bit teens sentenced

Heidi Dorow, right, listens while her attorney speaks during her sentencing in Oconto County court May 26, 2023, for witness intimidation and disorderly conduct. (WLUK image)
Heidi Dorow, right, listens while her attorney speaks during her sentencing in Oconto County court May 26, 2023, for witness intimidation and disorderly conduct. (WLUK image)
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OCONTO (WLUK) -- A town of Spruce woman was sentenced Friday to 10 days in jail for charges filed after her dogs bit three teens in three separate incidents.

Heidi Dorow, 39, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of intimidation of a witness and disorderly conduct. A felony charge of recklessly endangering safety was dismissed but considered during sentencing.

Judge Jay Conley also placed her on probation for two years, and Dorow cannot own any dogs during that time. She must pay $27,734.62 in restitution, which includes money for victims, and for reimbursing boarding costs for after the animals were confiscated.

Before the sentence was issued, the mother of the 13-year-old victim addressed the court. She was not identified by name.

"Our daughter's life that day was forever changed. She still cannot get out of a car if there are dogs running around. She still has nightmares from the attack," the woman said. "My hope is that you, the judge, and the court system will help keep our family and the community safe from Ms. Dorow's dogs and her irresponsible choices as a dog owner moving forward."

Dorow apologized. She noted her work schedule and reliance on her children to help with the dogs, but failed in that regard.

"I thought I was putting into place things to prevent something from happening. We were already in the works of fostering two of the dogs, and we didn't get that far. I never thought anything would get blown so out of proportion," Dorow said.

Judge Conley noted he did not have the authority to have the dogs euthanized. He called Dorow's actions negligent.

"Ms. Dorow, you did a disgraceful job taking care of these dogs. And I don't even doubt that in your heart of hearts you felt that you meant well, or were doing your best, but all you have to do is listen to them. You didn't do a good job," the judge said.

Judge Conley was more critical of Dorow for her actions on intimidating one of the victims, noting that conduct was intentional, not negligent.

The criminal complaint outlined three incidents:

  • On Aug. 25, a 13-year-old girl was bitten was jogging near Dorow's home. A citation was issued, and Dorow was issued a quarantine order for the dog. The breed of dog is not specified.

  • On Oct. 15, a 17-year-old girl visiting at Dorow's home was bitten "multiple times by multiple dogs in the yard of that residence." Dorow said only a St. Bernard puppy bit that victim, although appears to show multiple dogs involved. Afterwards, the victim required a cane to walk and needed surgery in several places due to the injuries.

  • On Nov. 13, a 16-year-old said he was at a party at Dorow's house. While the dogs were familiar with him, four dogs attacked him for 2-3 minutes, biting his ankles, knees, arms, butt, thigh, and armpit. Plastic surgery and rabies shots may be required as part of the treatment.
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After the Nov. 13 incident, Dorow texted her child, who was to coach the victim on what to say about the incident, and if the victim "didn't do so she'd shoot him," the complaint states. The teen initially reported the incident as a coyote attack.

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