In a bizarre case of animal cruelty, three dogs were killed at a Jurupa Valley, California, animal shelter by a suspected intruder on Sunday. Twelve other dogs were found missing from the facility, located at 6851 Van Buren Blvd., a KTLA report said, citing authorities from the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
According to Animal Services Department spokesman John Welsh, the gruesome discovery was made by animal shelter employees who arrived Sunday morning for work. The shelter remains closed for visitors on Sundays, but people do report to work there on weekends to tend to the animals, feed them, and perform other routine duties, NBC Los Angeles reports.
On Sunday morning, the employees were shocked to see the bodies of two small dogs lying inside the building in a pool of blood. Several other dogs were seen freely moving inside the animal shelter out of their kennels. The staff later discovered that at least 12 dogs were missing from their kennels. Efforts are on to locate them.
Describing the scene, Welsh said as follows.
“We found blood spatter everywhere. There were some blood markings that were about 3 feet off the ground. We don’t know exactly what caused that, but we don’t suspect that an animal jumped into the air and caused that blood spatter.”
While the initial impression was that the smaller dogs were killed by a larger dog, it soon became clear that the the dogs were killed by an intruder. There were no bite marks on the bodies of the dead dogs — which should have been present if they were killed by another animal.
“Their deaths do not appear to be consistent with bite wounds. In other words, the bigger dogs causing the injuries to the dogs.”
The bodies of two dogs — a 5-year-old Chihuahua and a 6-year-old Yorkshire Terrier mix — were found inside the shelter. The latter was only brought to the facility the previous night and was microchipped.
The body of an adult German shepherd was later discovered about a mile from the shelter. The dog was identified to be from the Jurupa Valley shelter, as it still had the shelter tags on its body. As of Sunday afternoon, several dogs remained missing from the shelter. Authorities are planning a necropsy on the dead dogs to ascertain the cause of their deaths.
Authorities also noticed several cut locks that were placed in a pile inside the shelter. They have now pinned hopes on surveillance footage from the shelter, which seemed to show a man breaking into the shelter. More details will be released as and when they become available.
[Image via ABC 7]