LANCASTER – A dog thought to have been shot to death in a Lancaster backyard this week was actually bitten by a larger dog or some other animal, authorities said Thursday.
“Today a necropsy was performed on the dog, and the doctor performing the necropsy determined that the dog was never shot,” said Lt. Steve Sylvies of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. “The dog had been bitten by a larger dog or other type of predator, causing numerous puncture wounds around the neck and crushing the vertebrae.”
The Lancaster Sheriff’s Station received a call Tuesday morning (Sept. 30) regarding a dog found dead in the backyard of a residence in the 42500 block of 30th Street West, according to Lancaster Community Relations Deputy Miguel Ruiz. Deputies responded to the home within 15 minutes of receiving the call and conducted a thorough preliminary investigation, Ruiz stated.
The preliminary investigation apparently did not satisfy the dog’s owner, Richard Bryant. In a Facebook post dated Sept. 30, Bryant shared a graphic picture of his deceased dog (see above). He claimed the dog had been shot while roaming in the backyard and he demanded that the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station “investigate immediately.”
“I followed up with the sheriff department who told me a detective would contact me next week,” Bryant stated in the Facebook post. The post went viral and sparked outrage.
“His post was very misleading because he made it sound like we never even conducted an investigation, when in fact we were there within 15 minutes and those deputies spent two hours going above and beyond, interviewing and checking for possible evidence,” Sylvies said. “And then the detective took the investigation even further; he got a hold of Animal Control and expedited a necropsy that led us to where we are now.”
“Some type of predator got into the yard — apparently they’re close to a dirt field — and that’s what caused the death of the dog,” Sylvies added. “There were clear puncture wounds once the hair was shaved away. There was nothing indicating any gunshot wound.”
Sylvies said Lancaster detectives have now closed their investigation.
“Obviously, there’s [an animal] in that neighborhood that needs to be identified, but that’s going to be more on Animal Control at this point,” Sylvies said. “Our involvement at this point is pretty much over.”