SHELDON, Vt. (WCAX) A Franklin County animal control officer is seeing what she calls an epidemic of reports of dead dogs turning up that are the victims of abuse.
"Lately, there have been a lot of phone calls about dogs turning up dead," said Nicole Michel, Sheldon's animal control officer.
The most recent incident took place on an ATV path in Sheldon. She says a dog was found tied to a tree with a bullet wound.
"I've spent many nights laying wide awake just knowing that people can be that cruel," Michel said.
Michel calls this is a new epidemic-- people chasing and killing dogs, and she says it's clear these dogs are not being killed for humane reasons or in a humane way.
"I say torture because the dog that was buried here was shot in the face and that was very clear, very clear. And the dog over in the center of Sheldon, there was a plastic bag over its head and just thrown out on the side of the road," Michel said.
Sheldon residents we spoke with said they haven’t heard of the situation, but they said if it’s true, it’s really sad.
"I can't save them all, but I think to get it out there, to make people aware I think is a good start," Michel said.
Moving forward, she wants to invest in a building where she will be able to house unwanted dogs so there's less burden on animal shelters.
"I would like to give these dogs a second chance. I feel by having a resource to allow that and to have that outlet would be successful," Michel said.
Michel would also like these conversations to happen in Montpelier. She plans to speak to her representative about giving animal control officers across the state more power to step in to stop situations like these from happening.