Authorities in Texas are hoping to cage the person, or people, responsible shooting a mother dog in the head and leaving its body in a crate to nurse its blood-spattered puppies.
The extremely disturbing scene was reported to deputies Thursday morning by a school bus driver who saw the dog lying inside the bloody cage along a Springton road, according to the Parker County sheriff.
When animal control officers arrived they discovered the dog not only lying in a pool of its own blood, but 10 squirming puppies trying to nurse from its lifeless body. "These puppies were left defenseless and still nursing on their deceased mother," said Sheriff Larry Fowler, who was appalled at the discovery. "Parker County does not have an animal problem . We have a people problem."
The mother dog is described as a 3-year-old, red shepherd mix with a black muzzle. It was malnourished, weighing around 35 pounds or roughly 20 pounds underweight, according to the Sheriff's Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler.
The puppies were described as just 7 to 9 days old with one puppy barely able to open its eyes at all. "They were covered in their mother's blood from where she had been shot in the top of the head," said Kessler. "It's hard to imagine that someone would be so cruel as to execute any animal, but to kill a dog with nursing babies, and leave such a gory picture, is beyond human imagination ."
The puppies were taken in by workers with Angels & Outlaws 2nd Chance Bully Ranch in Hico, an organizations that cares for bull dogs. Though these puppies are a different mix, they readily made an exception. "So far the two surrogate momma dogs have accepted them. But it is still early so prayers are needed," workers updated their concerned followers on Facebook Thursday afternoon. "We need blankets and sheets and bottles and milk! And if anyone would like to help bottle feed these babies please let me know!!"
Once the puppies are old enough they will be put up for adoption.
Anyone with information about the incident or the dog owner(s) is asked to contact the Parker County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division at (817) 594-8845 or the Parker County Crime Stoppers Hotline at (817) 599-5555. Crime Stoppers is also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and/or indictment of the suspect(s) involved.