Couple finds skinned dog near Thurston County river: 'He had no ears, no tail, no paws'

THURSTON COUNTY  -- A couple walking a trail in Thurston County made a gruesome discovery Friday night: a mutilated dog.

Jacinda Gehrig told Q13 News the dog had been completely skinned and was missing its ears, paws, and tail.

While investigators are making no connections, at this point, to a series of cat mutilations this past summer -- they are taking this case very seriously.

Gehrig and her boyfriend, Paul Krause said they were walking through the woods near the Nisqually Bridge around 6:45 p.m. when they came across the horrific scene.

They called 911 and took cell phone video. They shared the video with Q13 News, but we are choosing not to show it because it is too graphic and disturbing.

“There was a cardboard box laying down next to the dog. The dog was lying in a fetal position and he had no ears, no tail, no paws,” Gehrig said.

“I was looking at her like, are we really looking at this right now? It was very traumatizing,” Krause remembered.

Thurston County investigators say it doesn’t appear the dog died of natural causes and there were no bite marks found on the animal’s body.

“We saw big tire truck marks and gloves, blue latex gloves, that had fat around them in a puddle right next to the dog; five feet away maybe,” Gehrig said.

Detectives told Q13 News it’s far too early in the investigation to know whether or not this incident could be linked to the multiple cats found mutilated and killed in Thurston County, but it certainly has Gehrig and Kruse wondering.

“Just keep your dog on a leash. Keep your dogs inside, cats, everything. Just don’t leave their sides,” Gehrig said.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says they are currently investigating this as a case of animal cruelty.

A necropsy is planned in the coming days, which can include photos, measurements of cuts and even swabbing for DNA.