by Michelle LaFleche
On March 25th, we received a call from the Webster Police Department advising that a body of an animal was found in a trash bag that was in the river by Applied Roofing.
Jose and I responded to the location and met up with an officer at the scene.
The animal was either a dog or a coyote that had been decapitated, and skinned completely except for the last three or four inches of its tail. All four feet had been cut off and were included in the trash bag along with the body and a pair of latex gloves. The head was not in the trash bag.
The trash bag containing the gruesome contents had been discovered by an employee of Applied Roofing that morning as he was cleaning out the grates that are part of the plant that generates power to the buildings there. The grates are underwater and tend to catch debris that is carried by the river.
The discovery was not only very disturbing but heartbreaking as well.
Was this a dog? Was it a coyote? Without the head, it was hard to tell. The intact fur on the last three or four inches of the tail did seem to indicate that the animal could have been a coyote based on the dark marking at the tip. Still, many dogs have dark markings on the tips of their tails as well. The size was consistent with the average size of a coyote but then again, many dogs are this size as well.
If it was a coyote and was skinned, why would it be placed in a trash bag without the head and thrown in the river? Were the feet cut off so the body would fit in the trash bag? And, where is the head? Most hunters would have just disposed of the body in the woods, intact. Was this the results of an amateur coyote hunter? An experienced hunter would have skinned the coyote including the entire tail, not leave three or four inches of fur on the end.
We know hunters often hunt coyotes for their pelts so the fact that the animal was skinned is not that surprising if it were the act of a hunter (but still disgusting and not justifiable in my world).
However, if this was a dog, then the situation becomes entirely different than if this was an amateur coyote hunter. Why would someone decapitate a dog, cut off the feet, and skin it? Obviously, this would indicate a very disturbed and sick individual.
The next question is whether or not this was the individual’s dog or someone else’s dog.
Unfortunately, we may never know the answer. Any evidence that could have provided answers was destroyed by being immersed in the river.
I contacted the MSPCA and was advised that if this situation surfaces again, that the MSPCA will come out and assist us in any way they can in our investigation.
Hopefully, this was an isolated incident and we will never see the likes of it again.
I have to say this was the most upsetting call I have had to deal with.
We don’t want to start any rumors that this was a dog and there is some wacko at large, but we do want to caution residents to keep close tabs on their pets because we are not sure. If anyone has any information regarding this matter, please contact us at 508-340-5189.
Speaking of rumors, there are a couple going around that I would like to address. Many people seem to think that Jose and I are animal control officers for Webster and Dudley. Please note that we only work for the Town of Webster. Years ago, we worked both towns for a brief period of time and more recently (about a year ago) temporarily covered Dudley’s calls for about four months while Dudley was between animal control officers.
Therefore, if you have any issues in Dudley, please contact Dudley’s animal control officer. Our jurisdiction is Webster.
The other rumor is that I no longer have my business, Kritter Sitter Pet Care & Grooming because I am too busy as an animal control officer. Please note that I have been in business eleven years - pet sitting, grooming, boarding and training/rehabilitation. I have been an animal control officer for over seven years now. The business is still going strong and I have no intentions of going out of business or resigning as animal control officer/animal inspector for the Town of Webster. My business and being an animal control officer gel perfectly together and I have the world’s most loyal and understanding customers that I am extremely grateful for. Yes, my life is busy between the business and being an animal control officer, but I would not have it any other way!
Till next time, appreciate and respect each other and all the critters that share our world and don’t believe everything you hear – get the facts.
- Thursday, 18 April 2013
- Posted in Categories: : Four-legged Friends