Animal rescuers in South Carolina said Saturday that they have found two dogs believed to be from a local shelter shot in the head and buried at a landfill, and they suspect there may be more.
Whitney Knowlton, founder of Last Chance Animal Rescue Fund, said the two dogs were found Friday at a landfill. She said she believes that the dogs were from the county-run shelter and that they were killed by animal control officers.
Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker told WSOC-TV, which first reported the story, that his office is investigating. A message left with a dispatcher for the sheriff's office by The Associated Press was not immediately returned Saturday morning. The sheriff's office oversees animal control.
"We've got nothing at all to hide here," Parker told WSOC. "We're doing interviews, and we'll get to the bottom of it."
Knowlton said rescuers who regularly work with the shelter in Chesterfield, S.C., were first tipped off by an inmate working there. Some inmates working at the shelter had been saying that dogs were being taken off-site and weren't coming back, Knowlton said. One told a rescuer working with the shelter that dogs were being taken to the landfill and being shot.
"He was so unnerved by it," Knowlton said.
When that allegation was made, fellow rescuer Debbie Farhi grabbed a shovel and started digging at the landfill, Farhi said. She found one dog with fresh blood on it that had been shot in the head, then dug up another. At that point, Knowlton said, Farhi was told by animal control officers to leave.
Knowlton said activists want the state Law Enforcement Division to investigate the dead dogs.