The picturesque nature photos featured on Mickey Fortin’s Facebook page were in sharp contrast to the live video post he made Tuesday morning.
The Gray Court resident came across a grisly dumping ground, counting 11 dead dogs as he walked roughly 1.5 miles along Stoddard Road near Bryson Ford, going live on Facebook just prior to calling law enforcement.
“I’ve walked about a mile and found nine bodies of dogs just laying there like they’d been executed or something – all Chihuahuas,” Fortin said on the video.
The number of bodies grew to 15 as investigators from Laurens County Animal Control and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene.
LCAC Supervisor Giles Gilmer said the 15 Chihuahua carcasses were spread over three sites. Two of the sites included the nine dogs initially spotted by Fortin on his walk.
Of the 15 bodies found, Gilmer said 13 of them were recently shot and killed.
“We’re estimating that happened in the last 10-to-12 hours,” he said.
Gilmer said most of the bodies were those of older dogs, and deputies with the LCSO were interviewing dog owners and other people in the area in search of leads Tuesday afternoon as Gilmer attempted to theorize why this happened.
“It could possibly be someone inherited these dogs and didn’t want them, and they did what they did,” said Gilmer. “I think it’s just a case of an evil person or evil people, in my opinion.”
It’s the second severe case of animal abuse undertaken in the Gray Court area by the two agencies in the past three weeks. Two dogs were found starved to death on chains off of Bryson Road in late January. An arrest was made in that case.
The LCAC facility is at or near capacity, according to its Facebook page, but Gilmer said the dogs should have been turned into LCAC.
“We could have networked (with rescues to find them homes),” Gilmer said. “They were small dogs.”
On video, Fortin said the discovery turned a good morning walk into a bad day.
“If that’s not insanity, I don’t know what is,” he said. “To find that many dogs dead in a mile and a half is just unacceptable.”
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the LCSO at 864-984-4967 or CrimeStoppers at 68-CRIME.