In the past five months, more than 30 dogs have gone missing from the Twin Falls and Jerome County region of Idaho, which is about 125 miles southeast of Boise.
And this week, four German Shepherds were discovered beaten and shot alongside the side of a road, apparently dumped there, according to the Los Angeles Times. Oddly, no one has come forward to claim the dogs.
“We didn’t know until today how they had died: poisoned or shot or what,” Deputy Gary Trostel said. “We knew it was some type of head trauma, the way the eyes bulged out and with all the bleeding.”
These deaths are the latest in a number of shocking stories to hit the region. Last month, hikers in Jerome County found a dead German Shepherd whose head had been crushed, with the body covered in a purple cloth, leading animal control officers to suspect a “ritualistic execution.”
In March, Michelle Bull of Jerome County heard a gunshot; later, she found Bean, her German Shepherd, dead from a gunshot wound.
“I guess this Suburban drove up on the canal road and shot Bean and just left him,” Bull told the Times-News.
Deputy Gary Trostel said pet owners in the area in a state of “constant concern.”
“We’re staying on it and working with what leads we have. We know something is going on but we don’t know what it all means. We’re trying to find out,” said Trostel.
Though the dead dogs are all German Shepherds, the missing dog comprise numerous breeds. The Humane Society of the United States has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever was involved with the dog’s death.
Visiting the Wendell Animal Control and Twin Falls Animal Shelter Facebook pages is a sobering affair, with a number of dogs reporting missing.
A post on the Wendell Facebook on March 13 reads:
ALERT to everyone South of Wendell and surrounding area — dogs are being snatched from backyards. [Whether they’re] fenced in, chained; doesn’t matter. Two more family dogs [were] stolen Friday the 8th. A female German Shepherd and male Rottweiler cross. Dogs that are being taken are medium to large size dogs. Very concerned as to where and why they are needed. Most of the dogs are spayed and neutered and are loyal family pets. We should be very concerned! The rumors out there are not good. Please, if anyone has any information or has seen anything suspicious, call numbers above.
And one on March 26 reads:
Despite the perception that some of us are just crazy dog people, I am very concerned about the amount of missing dogs. Every day the calls are coming in. Now I understand a percentage of the missing dogs is the result of nature or neighbors shooting them — but the amount of dogs just disappearing, sighting of certain vehicles, witnessing the person calling the dog to the vehicle, unchained, locks broken to back yards and collars cut and left. … We are not “crazy” but concerned that someone can STEAL our property and get away with it!
Twin Falls Animal Shelter Director Debbie Blackwood told the Times-News that missing dogs are a regular occurrence on the site, but that often they can be matched up with ones in various shelters or deceased dogs found by animal control.
“We’ve gotten calls that dogs totally disappear,” she said. “That’s what’s weird.”
We’ll keep you informed on any new developments in the story.
Via Los Angeles Times; photos via Wendell Animal Control and Twin Falls Animal Shelter Facebook pages