EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) - Police say a dog killer goes on the prowl, randomly poisoning people's pets.
More than a dozen dogs were found poisoned Wednesday morning in Mississippi County.
No one knows why it's happening, but it's a problem folks in the county say they've been dealing with for years, although it's never been this bad.
Wednesday morning 15 dogs were found dead, and several others are missing.
Pet owners say someone left bags of poisoned meat out on the roads, and it's now up to the Sheriff's office to find the dog killer.
Emotions are running so high in Mississippi County, an argument broke out soon after we arrived.
Ten-year-old Ronnie Woods lost both his pups to the Mississippi County dog killer.
"They were more like brothers and sisters," he said sadly.
Folks around the Delmo Project near East Prairie have been going around covering up their dogs with blankets. They call it one of the saddest sights they've ever seen.
They say someone has been poisoning their dogs for years and now they want investigators to make it stop.
"Probably had six dogs been poisoned since we lived out here. Having to go through it again stinks," Ronnie Woods said.
"They should be punished as if they killed a person," Sheila Sisk said.
She lost all three of her dogs after they reportedly ate the poison.
"They need to realize that people who don't have kids or grand babies that's their babies, and they were my babies," she said.
Back to that argument, many folks blame one of their neighbors for their dogs deaths.
However, he says he had nothing to do with it.
Sheriff Keith Moore says until the crime lab in Jefferson City identifies the poison, he doesn't have a lot to go on.
"We don't have any subjects, nobody seen anything or knows anything," Moore said. "They don't need to accuse their neighbors of this. They don't know the facts either."
Some residents rushed off two little beagles lucky enough to survive the poison to a local vet.
Those left behind prepared to lay their pets to rest, even as their unanswered questions lingered around them.
"What would happen if the kids got into the poison? Would they be the same way as the dogs? Would anybody care?" Wayne Woods wanted to know.
As for his young son, he says he probably won't get another dog anytime soon.
"The way this stuff's been happening, I'm very scared."
The local vet who treated the two beagles says one of the dogs is pregnant and they both appear to be in good shape.
A rescue group in Zalma will now take in two beagles recovering after eating poisonous meat just outside East Prairie.
If you would like to help, call 573-722-3035.
If you have any information that might help track down the dog killer, please call the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office at (573) 683-2111.