Social media post about dead dogs causes stir online

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GREENFIELD — A Greenfield family is looking for answers after two seemingly healthy dogs were found shot dead over the weekend.

A Facebook post regarding the dogs’ discovery has received significant attention, earning more than 900 shares. More than 100 comments have been posted about the incident as well, mostly from people wondering who killed the animals and why.

John Jester, a former Greenfield police chief and Hancock County coroner, who wrote the Facebook post, said he’s asking those same questions.

The dogs, about the size of beagles with similar coloring, were found near a home in the Greenfield city limits owned by a friend of the Jester family. The property is near County Road 100S and Morristown Pike.

Jester said he received a phone call from the homeowner Sunday morning, soon after the two dogs were found. He visited the property, helped collect the animals and then turned them over to Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management to ensure they were properly and respectfully disposed of.

Then he vented his frustrations on Facebook — never expecting the post to draw so much attention, he said. His post included a photo of the two dead dogs.

“There are some true cowards in the world that should never be allowed to have animals,” he wrote, before addressing the unknown shooter and alluding to some evidence left behind, like tire tracks and trail camera videos.

No formal police investigation is taking place yet, Jester said. His point in posting to social media over the weekend wasn’t to prompt one.

Instead, he’d hoped the person responsible would quietly come forward and admit to what they did.

Jester said he has even wondered whether the person realized solutions to unwanted pets exist short of killing them. The person could easily have called the animal management department or a rescue group if he or she could no longer properly care for the pets. Instead, this person killed the dogs and then left them to be cleaned up by someone else.

“There could be a legitimate reason they did it,” Jester said. “The way they did it was just wrong.”

Not knowing who dumped the animals leaves a gap in whatever police investigation might take place from here, said Jester, who is now a reserve deputy for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Reserve deputies are volunteers with law enforcement powers.

There is no law preventing an animal’s owner from shooting and killing it, he said.

However, there are animal cruelty laws that prohibit taking animals and killing them without the owner’s consent or intentionally harming an animal that did not pose an immediate threat.

Most accusations of animal cruelty are filed as a Class A misdemeanor; but if investigators are able to determine someone shot the dogs as a means of torturing or mutilating them, the charge would rise to a Level 6 felony, according to state statutes.