MARBLE HILL, MO (KFVS) - Deputies in Bollinger County are investigating a case of alleged animal cruelty.
Sheriff Leo McElrath says someone found the a pit bull on County Road 318 near Marble Hill.
McElrath says someone dragged the dog behind a vehicle, tied it to a pole, and set it on fire all while the dog was still alive.
The dog was in such bad shape, investigators almost couldn't identify it. Deputies buried the dog where they found it.
McElrath says a man came into the department Saturday morning. He said he and his wife were driving around a saw a dog tied to a post, and something looked weird.
That's when deputies went to investigate.
"It made my deputies sick to even find this kind of thing," said McElrath. "It really upset all of us to think someone would treat a dog like that."
"I was shocked to hear that something of this magnitude happened in Bollinger County," said Marilyn Neville with the Bollinger County Stray Project. "I just still can't believe it, I can't believe it happened in this county."
Neville says there are a lot of possibilities as to what happened, none with a positive turn out.
"It was a violent way to get rid of the dog," said Neville. "It could be that it was some kids that were angry at whoever the pet owner was, it could have been an owner who was disgusted with the dog and just lost it."
"I hope its not associated with some kind of a dog fighting ring or something of that nature, a more sinister crime that what it appears to be," said McElrath.
"I'm just really concerned about the temperament of the human being that was capable of doing something this horrific to a living creature," said Neville. "Someone capable of doing that, it's going to probably happen again."
Neville says she worries about pets for the upcoming Halloween weekend.
"I think we all need to be very cautious of our pets this weekend and this week, this many not just be this week, I think we need to make sure that our pets are well, are kept at home, and that we do everything we can to protect our pets," said Neville.
"We just like to find out who did this and bring them to justice," said McElrath.
Again the Bollinger County Sheriff's Department says if you have any information to give them a call.