Dogs found shot to death just over state line
The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the discovery of three deceased dogs that were found in the water of Howard Eaton Reservoir last week.
Police said the dogs had been shot multiple times while they were in the water, located west of the town of Mina. All three dogs were pit bulls and had numerous scars, which led police to believe they were being trained as fighting dogs.
Police were called about 5:30 p.m. to the eastern boat ramp, which is accessed from State Line Road. The ramp is about quarter-mile west of the New York-Pennsylvania border.
Police were called by a New York couple who were at Eaton Reservoir walking their dogs. The couple, who asked not to be identified, said they were hailed by a man in a kayak who told them about the dogs and asked them to contact authorities.
“We were absolutely appalled,” said the man who contacted the police. “Both my wife and I broke into tears when we saw the dogs. We cannot believe that anyone could do such a thing.”
Three Pennsylvania State police troopers responded to the call. After completing an initial investigation, they contacted Officer Eric Duckett, who with Officer Stevie Hargenrater, are associated with the Animal Cruelty/Neglect Division of the ANNA shelter in Erie. These officers work with PA state police on animal cruelty cases in Erie and Crawford counties
Two of the dogs were located near the shoreline, about 15 feet from the boat ramp, and were immediately visible to the State Police Officers. When the sun began to set, troopers noticed a third dog about 20 feet from the shore.
According to the ANNA Shelter Animal Cruelty Division, it is believed “the dogs had been walked into shallow water and shot . . . sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.”
“Everything points to dog fighting,” Duckett said. “They typically use smaller dogs and these dogs appear to be small adults. those collars are always used by dog fighters.”
Duckett also said that it appeared to be an organized dog fighting operation. “Just the way the dogs were set up, it doesn’t look like a backyard operation,” he said. “Those collars are always used by dog fighters,” referring to the wide, heavy collars on the canines.
Duckett said he believes the animals were brought in from out of state. “I cover Crawford and Erie counties and I haven’t had a call about dog fights for five years,” he said. Duckett also said they collected six shell casings from the scene.
Duckett asks that anyone who has any information or who noticed suspicious persons in the area to please contact him at (814) 572-5913.