Necropsy scheduled in deaths of 12 dogs found dumped along rural road

An investigation is underway after 12 dogs were found dead near this Jennings County rural road. (Photo: Jim Johnston/WTHR)

JENNINGS COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) — Acting on a tip, animal control officers found a dozen dead dogs last week.

They had been dumped in a wooded area near Westport, where the gravel road dips to cross a creek.

Jennings County officials said most of those dogs were puppies — some just a week or two old. said Jennings County animal control officer Michelle Acton.

A driver found the dogs by a creek near a place called Zenas Slab.

"(The driver) sent us pictures and we went out and located all of them," said Jennings County animal control officer Michelle Acton.

Acton told Eyewitness News the dogs, including a beagle mix and a female that had recently given birth, all looked to be in otherwise healthy condition — no signs of abuse or malnutrition — prior to their deaths.

A necropsy is scheduled to figure out how and why the dogs died. Those results could be available Friday.

This much is known: There was no attempt to bury the dogs. They were dumped together, just off the roadway.

"One of them even got caught in a tree," said Acton.

Neighbor Travis Josephson called it disturbing.

"It's definitely ill-minded. Somebody’s got some issues," Josephson said. "Makes you kind of wonder who is going up and down the roads and what's going on."

The Josephsons foster animals from an animal shelter until they're adopted. They also have a livestock business.

Kayla Josephson said she wants to know how the dogs died and why they were just left on the roadside.

"That's awful. I don't understand how someone can do something like that," she said.

Mercy Rescue is an alternative to such dumping, according to Kayla. And it's a family affair.

"I like how they're playful," said daughter Charli Josephson, who said she likes training dogs.

"I almost started tearing up because I love dogs," Libbi Clark said. "I grew up with dogs, a whole bunch of different types, so it's really sad. I don't get how people can go through with that and just be OK with it."

"Very heartbreaking and ridiculous to do something cruel, an act like that," Travis added.

If you have information on the abandoned animals, call the Jennings County Sheriffs Department Anonymous Tip Line at (812) 346-0342 or sheriff’s dispatch at (812) 346-4911.

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