Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 30, 2013

Investigators to perform necropsy on dead pit bulls found near Bluefield

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Investigators will perform a necropsy on the dead pit bull puppies found near Bluefield, officials said today.

“I know they are having a necropsy done to determine the cause of death,” Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said of the 10 dead pit bull puppies. “Apparently, the decomposition was such that the layman couldn’t determine (the cause of death).”

A necropsy is an autopsy performed on an animal. The dogs were found dead over the weekend in the Grassy Branch Road area near Bluefield.

A property owner saw bags being thrown from a vehicle Friday and called Mercer 911 Sunday because he smelled an odor, said Animal Control Officer Tracy Monninger, who works at the Mercer County Animal Shelter. Monninger said she did not go to the scene, but another person she supervises, Animal Control Officer Elizabeth Morehead, was dispatched.

The puppies were decomposing, but Morehead could tell by their heads what type they were, Monninger said. The bags may have held up to 13 pups, but their state of decay made it difficult to determine how many had been dumped.

Ash said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis, who has worked cases in the past involving animal control laws, is working with local investigators on the case.