On Wednesday evening, a young, female pit bull was found dead in the woods behind the Norms-Dale Mobile Home Park.
Nancy Beall, the President of the Atlantic County SPCA, said, "It’s horrific really; absolutely disgusting, and there's no excuse for it, none whatsoever. That dog suffered and I think it was probably beaten. Nothing should be treated like that."
Officials with the SPCA say a hunter in the woods behind the mobile home park reported seeing a man in a red jacket and tan pants walking out of the woods Wednesday evening. The hunter told officials he then heard a dog whimpering; saw the unknown man walk back into the woods; heard another loud noise; and then it was quiet.
SPCA officials say the dog was emaciated and either froze, or was beaten to death.
Tabitha Reed lives in the Norms-Dale Mobile Home Park with her family and their pet dogs and told NBC40, “I found out about it this morning and I'm sick to my stomach. My son told me this morning that he saw a man walking a dog yesterday - a grey pit bull, and he said, ‘Mommy, you know when a dog looks like it doesn't eat and its real skinny, and sick, and bones,’ this is what he tells me this morning."
The SPCA is working with Egg Harbor Township Police to identify the dog's owner, who they believe lives in the mobile home park.
Beall told NBC40, "I strongly suspect that this dog does belong in that park."
And while officials cannot know for sure, some park residents suspect they know who committed the crime.
Robert Justis, a Norms-Dale resident, said, "My friend's wife…she saw him walking the dog into the woods...and now it's dead."
Beall explained, "There is jail time allowed - up to six months and there's no reason that they wouldn't get it. If I can prove my case, they should go to jail."
A reward is being offered for any information about who may have been responsible for the dog's death.
If you have any information you can call the Atlantic County SPCA at (609)-927-9059.
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