The Loudoun County, Va., Department of Animal Services is opening up a felony animal cruelty investigation in connection with the discovery of a large pile of skinned animal carcasses in Lovettsville, Va.
A preliminary investigation of the bodies determined most were wildlife; fox and raccoon. However, investigators noticed one carcass was atypical and a necropsy report determined it was a dog.
Because the skinned carcass is a companion animal, the department is now investigating the situation as a felony crime.
The pile of dead animals was found in Catoctin Creek off Featherbed Lane on Tuesday. Labeled “a state scenic river,” Catoctin Creek near Waterford runs under a single lane bridge on a lightly traveled road that cuts amid the cattle farms and stone-gated mansions.
Dave Daley, who works on a construction site nearby, discovered the carcasses earlier this week and contacted Animal Services.
“I was just driving by and I looked over the side of the bridge and I saw a pile of something that looked strange to me, so I stopped and investigated a little bit more and I determined that they were animal bodies,” he said.
“Well, it's horrifying,” dog owner John Caron said. “Hopefully they can find the perpetrators and jail them. I mean, that's just absolutely horrifying.”
“I'd like to see somebody prosecuted because somebody’s clearly doing something wrong,” Daley said.
A Virginia Department of Environmental Quality was at the site on Saturday and was making arrangements for the cleanup and disposal of the remains.