A dog was found shot to death in a wire cage Wednesday morning with 10 puppies still nursing, Parker County authorities said Thursday.
Investigators asked for help identifying and finding the suspects involved in the animal cruelty case.
“Parker County does not have an animal problem,” said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler in a Thursday news release. “We have a people problem. It’s hard to imagine that someone would be so cruel as to execute any animal, but to kill a dog with nursing babies and leave such a gory picture is beyond human imagination.”
The dog and puppies — seven females and three males about a week old — were spotted Wednesday morning by a Springtown bus driver on Raley Road. Eleven elementary schoolchildren were on board, but authorities said they did not believe they saw the dogs.
A dispatcher received a call reporting the incident in the 100 block of Raley Road near Veal Station Road at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Animal control officers found the dead dog and puppies abandoned inside the cage.
Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler described the adult as a 3-year-old red shepherd mix with a black muzzle, weighing about 35 pounds. The bottom of the cage was lined with part of a cardboard box with the word Artskill printed on it.
The puppies “were covered in their mother’s blood from where she had been shot in the top of the head,” Kessler said in the news release. “The mother was obviously malnourished and should have weighed at least 50 pounds. We also found an empty metal pan inside of the crate.”
The puppies have been released to Angels & Outlaws Second Chance Bully Ranch in Hico.