Community members are calling it terrifying and horrific when workers at an area animal shelter found one of their missing dogs decapitated.
The dog went missing from PAW Animal Shelter in Fort Madison, Iowa earlier this week. It was found on Thursday, April 25th, by a staffer walking another dog along the train tracks about a block away.
"He saw what he thought was the body of a dog so he came back and got other staff members and they went out and then confirmed that this was our dog," Shelter Director Sandy Brown told News 8's Angie Sharp on Friday, April 26th.
"It stopped me cold," says Staffer Adam Simpson. "It is so unnatural that it just took me a second to realize what I was looking at."
The body of the dog was discovered headless laying near the train tracks. Sandy says evidence shows the dog was not hit by a train, but instead planted there. She also doesn't think this was an act against the shelter.
"Sadly, 'Jake' will never have the chance to have a forever family and a good life."
"Jake" is not the dog's actual name, Sandy says. To help investigators, shelter workers and authorities are not revealing the dog's name or breed.
"This is a bragging rights crime," says Sandy. "You don't decapitate a dog and not tell somebody. Sooner or later, it's going to come out, which is why we're keeping all the pertinent information quiet. Hopefully, that's going to be the nail in the coffin."
Investigators are asking people to keep their eyes and ears open as well as pass along any and all information so that Jake's fate is not repeated on another animal or human.
"If you're not a dog lover, still beware," says Sandy. "It's behavior that points to something very, very dangerous in people. You can only kill so many rabbits, so many cats, and so many dogs and then you want to move on and then you find that these things are happening to people and children in your community."
Sandy says they will create some sort of memorial to honor "Jake." They are also hoping to use some of the donations they've recently received to buy a security camera that will record every side of the shelter.
To contact PAW Animal Shelter:
Protectors of Animal Welfare (P.A.W.)
2031 48th Street
P.O. Box 181
Fort Madison, IA 52627