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Hardin County Animal Control discovered three badly decomposed pit bulls and skeletal remains of two more dogs Thursday morning near the LaRue/Hardin County line on Middle Creek Road after receiving a call Wednesday night, Director Gerald Foley said.
The department is looking for the public’s help on who may have dumped the animals at the location, and Foley said callers can leave anonymous tips.
Help is needed as the dogs contained no trace of microchip identification, he said.
“There was no ID of any kind at all,” he said.
Foley said the three animal carcasses were so badly decomposed that he could not determine the cause of death.
The remains of the two other dogs could not be identified by breed, so it is unclear if they were pit bulls, he said.
The grisly discovery follows a weekend report Animal Control fielded of three dead pit bulls found in blankets along Boone Road on the northern end of the county. Those remains were retrieved by the county’s dead animal removal program, he said.
Foley said he has no evidence the two discoveries are connected, but he said he does not believe in coincidences.
Gayle Johnson, president of Hardin County Pet Protection, discovered the dogs as the dump site is near her home. She took photographs of the remains and reported her findings to Foley’s office.
Johnson said the site was horrifying to anyone who has a soft spot for animals.
“It’s not good at all,” she said.
One of the dogs’ mouths was bared into a grimace, revealing teeth as “white as snow.”
“I would hope to have teeth as white,” Johnson said.
The untarnished hue of the teeth is an indication the dog was rather young when it died, Johnson said.
She said she hopes a full investigation is launched into who is responsible for the deaths, saying she would be willing to put up a reward for anyone who has information that could lead to a potential arrest.
Johnson said her gut feeling tells her the two dumps are connected and could be tied to a potential dog fighting ring. She said one of the dog’s ears appeared to be cropped off and mangled. One dog appeared to have the imprints of a muzzle on its snout, she said.
“Definite dog fighting material,” Johnson said.
Foley didn’t rule out a dog fighting ring but said his department usually receives anonymous tips from a family member or another person who has information about a ring. He said he had not heard a “sniff” about a dog fighting ring in the last few years.
“Usually when those things are going on, I know about it,” he said.
Foley said he is not sure how the department could identify the culprits if no one comes forward.
Johnson said she hopes the awareness brought to the situation will encourage people to be more caution when selling animals. For instance, she said animal owners should not be so willing to sell a dog to the first person who claims he or she will give it a good home because there are those out there who intend to cause the animals harm.
Anyone with information about the animal discoveries can call Hardin County Animal Control anonymously at 270-769-3428.