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‘So unimaginable’: German Shepherd found dead inside crate along Rockbridge County road

Investigators need your help to find whoever is responsible

The Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a dog who was left on the side of the road back in January.

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – A pet German Shepherd was found dead inside a crate and dumped on the side of Raphine Road in the Gibbs Run area of Rockbridge County.

“You’d think someone would try to hide what they’ve done, especially something this heinous and something they knew was wrong and illegal,” said Chief Deputy Tony McFaddin with the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office.

McFaddin said the dog was female and around 5 to 7 years old.

He wouldn’t tell 10 News how she was killed, just that she didn’t die of natural causes.

“It was caused by someone and that’s what’s so unimaginable to us,” said McFaddin. “We don’t know why someone would do this.”

Investigators found the dog back on Jan. 27 near the Augusta County line. Deputies got a call around 7 p.m. after someone driving by spotted the crate and saw what was inside.

They have spent months interviewing people in the area and doing forensics, with no new leads. That’s why the department posted publicly about the incident for the first time on Wednesday, March 10 asking for the public’s help.

They are hoping two distinct clues can help solve the case. The dog had four white paws and a blanket found inside the crate has a unique pattern. McFaddin said it almost looks like a child’s blanket. It’s white with pink and yellow stripes with writing.

”Somebody on either side of the county line knows who owns this dog,” said McFaddin.

Without knowing who killed the dog or why, Rockbridge SPCA Executive Director Tara Rodi said it didn’t have to end this way.

”We hate to see it,” said Rodi. “People need to know if they can’t keep their animals for whatever reason, bring them to your local shelter.”

About the Author:

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!