By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
Prentiss County police think the site where dozens of dog carcasses were found earlier this week was a common dumping grounds for people wanting to dispose of dead animals.
“Most people don’t understand how to dispose of dead animals and I think this shows that,” said Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar.
Two women were looking for their dog earlier this week when they found the site with about 50 carcasses, mostly dogs, on County Road 6200 near a bridge. They reported it to police.
Now, a $2,500 reward has been offered by the Humane Society of the United States for information to identify, arrest and convict whoever is responsible for the neglect and deaths.
In addition to the dogs, the site contained other animal remains, including a deer, a domestic pig, two wild boars and a calf.
“It wasn’t just dogs and that’s another reason we feel this could have been a popular dumping spot,” he said.
Tolar said the animals were in different stages of decomposition “from fairly new all the way down to bones, so we feel like it was used by several people. We do think a bulk of the dogs were dumped at once. There were about 10 dogs with gunshot wounds.”
Dr. Bill Epperson, professor and head of the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine for the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said that if animals are buried in a landfill, they should be wrapped in plastic or a sturdy box and deposited in a closed garbage can.
If disposed of properly, Epperson said public health is not an issue.
“Obviously contact with people and animals should be controlled,” he said. “As with any deceased body, scavenging animals and birds will be attracted and should always be excluded. Any animal buried should have sufficient cover to keep animals and insects out, so at least two feet of dirt cover is recommended.”
Epperson said based on the limited information he has on the Prentiss County case, no public health risks are evident.
If someone is charged with the animal dumping they will face misdemeanor charges with penalties up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine, according to Tolar. He said they have at least one lead on the case but have made no arrests.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.