TOWER CITY, Pa. (WHTM) – The remains of several puppies were found in a Schuylkill County creek Monday.
On Tuesday, a group met to remove the dogs as the investigation began into how they died.
Who would do this? Angie Bixler wants to find out.
“There was absolutely no reason for that, no reason for the horror,” said Bixler, president of the animal advocacy group Paws for a Cause PA.
“I mean, even if they were sick, why?” she said. “You could have taken them to the vet. You could have asked for help.”
Nine dogs — greyhounds, maybe, or coon hounds — were dumped, likely from a concrete bridge, into Wiconisco Creek in Porter Township. One puppy appeared to have had its skull crushed.
None of the dogs has a microchip to help identify the owner. Bixler thinks they’re too young.
“They’re definitely puppies,” she said. “Little puppy teeth.”
Bixler was part of the group that met to take them out using a laundry basket attached to a rope. She spent the whole day with a lump in her throat, “not looking forward to now. And just seeing decomposed puppies is just awful.”
“It was, it was gruesome,” said Chelsea Cormack, who works at the local SPCA and also came to help pull the dogs from the water.
Who would do this?
“I just don’t understand how you could just dump dogs over a bridge,” Cormack said. “How do you feel good about yourself? And there’s nine of them.”
Stephanie Welgo, who also works at the animal shelter, was walking with her daughter Monday when they found a turtle on the road. The pair took it back to the creek, but when they got home, her son wanted to go see the turtles, too.
They found the puppies.
“I can’t understand just throwing them in there,” Welgo said. “I just wonder what they went through before they ended up there.”
“And especially since I work with animals every day, all day, you know?” Cormack said, bowing her head. “It’s sad. It’s really sad.”
Bridget Barder, an animal cruelty officer, took one puppy — the one in the best shape after being in the water for what appears to be days — to Harrisburg to figure out how they died. She said she’s never seen anything like it.
“I’ll be having nightmares on this myself,” Barder said.
The other eight puppies were loaded into a pickup truck in a tarp and taken up the road for burial.
“They shouldn’t be buried at all,” Bixler said. “If they were responsible enough to have the puppies, then they should have been responsible enough to find them homes instead of killing them.”
“It’s heartbreaking. That’s about all I can say,” said Jason Snavely, shoveling dirt back into the hole where the remains of eight puppies now lay.
“At least they have a proper burial now,” Bixler said. “Kids don’t have to see them laying in the bottom of the creek.”
But the burial is not the final step. Now comes the task of trying find whoever dumped the dogs in the creek. That person could face charges including animal cruelty and illegal dumping.