Police in Neosho, Missouri are investigating an incident of animal cruelty after a beagle was found skinned alive Oct. 3. An $8,000 reward is being offered for information about the case.
Neosho police Lt. Jason Baird told The Associated Press that the dog’s backside was removed from its tail to its neck. The skin around the top of its legs was also removed.
A resident said they saw the injured dog appear in a forested area in late September, Baird said, noting that the unnamed beagle appeared to be in distress when officers discovered it. The decision was then made to put the animal down, AP reported.
The dog may have escaped its owner’s home via an unsecured door.
“It takes a truly callous person to skin a dog alive and it’s completely heartbreaking to imagine the suffering this dog endured,” Amanda Good, Missouri state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said on the group’s website.
She added that the humane society now hopes “this reward will encourage anyone with information about this terrible crime to come forward, not only to help seek justice for this animal, but also to ensure the safety of the entire community.”
The Humane Society said it is offering up to $5,000 in the case while local residents chipped in the remaining $3,000.
Entire communities are affected by such crimes, the Humane Society said, adding that there is a well-established scientific connection between animal cruelty and violence towards people.
“Studies establish a clear link between animal cruelty and many other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault,” it said.
Those with information about the case can call the Neosho Police Department at 417-451-8012 or The Newton County Sheriff’s Department at 417-451-8300.