The reward for information regarding two dogs in Tennessee who were found decapitated and skinned has been raised from $12,000 to $17,000
The bodies were discovered June 24 in Knoxville County near Fort Loudoun Lake, and the sight left residents horrified, WBIR reported.
"I couldn't believe it," Tara Gillespie, who lives nearby, told WBIR. "When I came up it took my breath away."
Gillespie's brother-in-law reportedly made the startling discovery while on his way to work that Wednesday morning. Law enforcement officials said the dogs were skinned, burned, beheaded and had their legs broken.
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"It's the most horrible thing I've seen in my life," Gillespie added. "It's just inconceivable and you just wonder what makes a human being so evil as to hurt something so precious."
Veterinarians were unable to determine the breed of the dogs as they were beaten beyond recognition. It is also unclear if the dogs were killed before or after the abuse.
Investigators are asking anyone in the Knoxville County area who is missing two dogs of medium build that weighed 25 to 35 pounds to call the sheriff’s office.
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The $12,000 reward for information regarding the suspect or suspects of this crime has been upgraded to $17,000 this week, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Ed Loy of the Fort Loudon Marina is pledging $5,000. Other organizations have also pledged a considerable amount. PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund both pledged $5,000 each. The Managing Director of the Friends of the Animal Shelter in Newport and the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley pledged $1,000 each.
"I am hoping with such a large reward that someone will come forward who has knowledge of this heinous incident,” Sheriff Jimmy Jones told WBIR. “We're also tremendously grateful to these organizations for their support."