BERTHOUD, Colo. (CBS4) – Authorities said testing confirmed a person is to blame for the gruesome deaths of two animals identified Tuesday as coyotes.
The two animals were found mutilated outside of Berthoud last week. Initially authorities believed they were dogs. They were discovered just a few miles apart. They were so badly abused that veterinarians couldn’t tell what breed they were.
Investigators performed necropsies on the two animals to determine if they were killed by a human. Preliminary reports show the animals died of gunshot wounds to the abdomen.
The first discovery came after an anonymous call on Wednesday. Police found the animal on the side of County Road 4. Police said the coyote was skinned and beheaded, and the tail also removed.
“That animal was female … that animal had been skinned and decapitated and had its tail removed as well,” Marcie Willms with the Larimer Humane Society said.
Then on Saturday, a second gruesome discovery made along County Road 16 – an almost identical case.
“That animal had also been skinned and had its feet removed as well,” Willms said.
“Some kind of ritual thing, I guess is what would strike me,” said dog owner Clay Alspaugh, who lives near where the animals were found.
Right now investigators said they have no leads and they said they are not sure if the cases are linked to the dozens of reported missing pets that have come in over the past few days.
Authorities say the perpetrators could face felony charges.
“We would like to encourage anyone who has an animal and lives in that area to keep a close eye on their pets,” Willms said.