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2 dogs shot and dumped in Hernando County, officials say

A criminal investigation is underway

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HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. – 2 dogs were found in Ridge Manor with gunshot wounds to their heads, officials said.

An animal enforcement officer with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office was sent to the area of Plymouth Rock Drive and Wilford Street to investigate a report of two dead dogs being dumped in the area.

The officer immediately noticed the dogs, who were both partially covered with black garbage bags.

According to authorities, the bodies of the dogs were in the early stages of decomposition.

After investigating further, the officer noticed one of the male dogs had severe injuries on his body and what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. 

"The dog's body displayed signs of being in a freezer prior to being dumped. The other dog, a female, had no obvious signs of injury other than what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Both dogs were described as what is commonly referred to as pit bulls," authorities said in a news release. 

After seeing the gunshots, the officer had evidence of criminal activity and a Hernando County sheriff's deputy was called to the scene to begin a criminal investigation.

Deputies do not currently have any information about a suspect or any leads for the investigation. If anyone has any information they believe will lead to the identity of the person(s) responsible for this crime, officials ask that you please contact the Hernando County Sheriff's Office at 352-754-6830.

"Deputies believe the dogs were used for dog fighting and dumped in Hernando County once they were deemed of no use to the owner. It is believed that due to the remoteness of the location and the proximity to other counties, the person(s) responsible for this crime are possibly from outside the area," the news release said.

Previous investigations in that area have shown that people travel from as far away as other states to take part in dogfights or to dump dogs.

"Over the last several years, other dogs have been dumped in this area. In the past, the dogs were alive with some suffering from injuries indicative of being used for dog fighting," the news release said.

The investigation remains active at this time.