Grisly discovery unnerves Humane Society officer
BY KRIS FEDYSKY STAFF WRITER
In all her years with Lackawanna County’s Humane Society, head officer Tina Walter had never seen anything so gruesome.
That’s all she could say Thursday night, hours after she and other officers found a dead dog with its face missing lying in a frying pan in West Scranton.
“I have seen some gruesome things, but nothing like this,” she said. “This was really weird — really odd — and not an accident.”
A man left Ms. Walter an anonymous message Thursday morning: While walking his dog, he spotted what he thought was a large cat in a frying pan behind a building.
Because the man said only that it was at “the top of Linden Street,” crews started at Community Medical Center before finally finding the site across town in West Scranton at 11:15 a.m.
Behind an abandoned building on Linden Street near North Eighth Avenue and railroad tracks, they found a pit bull, possibly a puppy, in an 8-inch fry pan that was set on a metal folding chair. An empty syringe was on the chair next to the pan, though Ms. Walter is not sure what was in it.
Only the ears remained on the dog’s head.
Aside from some mud covering the dog, it had been in relatively good condition, Ms. Walter said. She guessed it may have been dead about a week.
The dog, pan and syringe were recovered as evidence, but not the chair.
When Ms. Walter returned to the scene around 3:30 p.m., the chair was gone.
“That was too odd and too freaky” she said.
Dr. Joseph Pannick, D.V.M., of the Veterinary Medical Center in Blakely, will perform a necropsy sometime today to find the cause of death and whether the dog was abused before it died, Ms. Walter said.
The frying pan will also be dusted for prints, but otherwise authorities have no leads, she said.
“We really need the public to help us,” she said. “Hopefully someone saw something and will come forward.”
Killing a cat or a dog is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and carries at least a $1,000 fine and a maximum of two years in prison.
If the dog’s face was removed after it died, the perpetrator could also be charged with abusing a corpse, also a misdemeanor.
Scranton police had no information on the incident, and Ms. Walter said they’ll be called in to assist in any arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call Ms. Walter at the Humane Society, 585-0510.
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