Sheriff's office investigating skinning of dog in Clark County

Family believes someone skinned their dog

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Vancouver family said they found their dog dead and skinned in the backyard of their Salmon Creek home.

“It was just horrible,” said owner, John Gragg. “He was the nicest dog you can imagine.”

The brutal killing was reported to the Clark County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, who on Tuesday admitted in a Facebook post they mistakenly did not investigate the report.

"I'm at a loss right now to explain why we did not respond to this incident on Sunday when it was reported," said Undersheriff Mike Cooke. "I met with the family today after finding out this occurred and I feel absolutely terrible about what happened."

“It has all the earmarks of an intentional act,” he said.

Officials are also waiting on a necropsy to confirm how the dog died.

Gragg and his partner Susanne Baumann said they let their Lhasa Apso, "Mr. Magoo," out to play on their six acres of fenced-in property at around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. They also released their pet Pomeranian, "Amanda." When they called their dogs in two hours later, only Amanda returned.

“Susanna ran up and said ‘you've got to help me, this is something really awful!’” recalled Gragg.
The couple found Mr. Magoo dead and skinned near the back fence. The fur on his torso and upper legs had been cut off in knife-straight lines.   

“It's perfectly square,” said Gragg. “It looks like something was stuck in the side of the animal which could have been a knife or a shot to put the dog to sleep. It looked very professional.”

The couple took Magoo's body to Columbia River Veterinary Specialists in Vancouver.
“The vet said it was human-caused, clearly,” said Gragg. “There is somebody out there who's doing something very sadistic and cruel.”

The news was upsetting to neighbors, many who walk their pets around the quite, rural area.

“We're totally surprised and really, really shocked,” said neighbor Steve King. He and his wife own four Bassett Hounds.

“We’ll have them on-leash at all times,” added Karin Pearson-King.

Gragg said he tried to file a report with the Clark County Sheriff’s office, but said deputies refused to take one because the victim wasn’t human.

“It’s extremely concerning that law enforcement doesn’t seem to care,” said Baumann on Monday.

Gragg said the county won’t pay for the necropsy, but needs proof that the injuries were caused by a human. He said he and Baumann will foot the bill.

While Baumann and her family are grateful someone from the sheriff's office finally stopped by, they’re still can’t believe it took so long.

“The amount of fighting we've had to do to have this investigated is obscene and we're already devastated and heartbroken. Now we're just trying to help and trying to prevent his from happening to somebody else,” said Julia Sarver, Baumann’s daughter.

Cooke said they’re looking for any information that may help their investigation.

Ron Murray with Oregon Dog PAC, said he’s willing to offer a $1000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. He’s working on connecting with Magoo’s family.

In the meantime, Gragg and Baumann want everyone to know what happened.

“It might help someone else,” said Gragg. “Anybody who could do something like that could probably do anything as far as I'm concerned.”


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