February 2, 2011 1:50:00 PM
Authorities are trying to find out who dumped the carcasses of nearly 50 dogs and several cats in a creek in north Mississippi.
Sheriff Randy M. Tolar said the carcasses were found this week under a bridge on a rural county road in Prentiss County near the town of Baldwyn. Some of the animals appeared to have been shot.
Tolar said the animals included a "wide range of breeds and ages" and were in various states of decomposition. At least one deer carcass was found. A video of the scene has been circulating on the Internet. The carcasses have since been removed.
Tolar said authorities don''t know why the animals were killed or who dumped them.
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information in the case.
The animals were taken to a veterinarian for necropsy, but many were too decomposed to determine a cause of death, the Humane Society said Wednesday in a news release.
This is at least the second time this year that Mississippi authorities have investigated a major dumping ground for cats and dogs.
An animal control officer in Canton, about 25 miles north of Jackson, was accused last month of killing as many as 100 dogs and cats and dumping the carcasses into a creek.
Both cases have renewed calls for Mississippi lawmakers to adopt more stringent animal cruelty laws. Mississippi is one of four states that doesn''t have a felony animal cruelty law against dogs and cats.