A Florida family was left heartbroken and horrified after their dog was found beaten to death with a disturbing note attached to its body.
Verline Bartheleny told WSVN that her family is accustomed to letting the family dog, a Pomeranian named Fox, roam around the Pembroke Pines complex alone for a few minutes. But when they let Fox out on Friday, he never came back.
"I was cooking, and I didn't want the food to burn, so I went out back to call him, and I didn't see him," Bartheleny told the news station.
The following morning, a neighbor found Fox on a back porch, dead with a note attached.
"I looked at the photo, and I'm like, 'Oh good! He found Fox,” Bartheleny recalled. “But then I saw the note, and it was just horrifying. I just started crying."
“We beat it 2 death lol hahaha,” read the note, with smiley face drawn between the laughter.
"If someone could do that to a dog, just imagine what it could escalate to," the owner said.
The family consulted a veterinarian and what they found was even more disturbing. Fox had a broken spine, a broken jaw, cracked ribs and a ruptured stomach.
"He had to have punctured lungs because there was air all underneath the skin,” said Dr. Ron Ridge.
Pembroke Pines officials said the dog may have been struck by a vehicle, but Dr. RIdge is not convinced. "You would expect to see skinned knees, skinned elbows, other minor injuries that we saw no signs of," he said.
Now the family is left wondering who could do such a thing to a small defenseless animal.
"Fox was like one of my kids," Bartheleny said. "I've had him for a long time. It hurts."
Police are currently investigating the matter. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. The county is offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.