At least three dogs have been shot, killed, and dumped within a mile of each other near Bertram on FM 1174 since July 18. The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the killings due to their close proximity and brutal nature.
The remains of a dog that had been shot were found in a black plastic bag on FM 1174 north of Bertram on July 22. This came after two small dogs were found shot and dumped on the same road on July 18, less than a mile away from the other animal.
Word of the killings spread through a Facebook group, Bertram Texas Lost and Found Pets. One of the dogs was found near the property of an administrator of the group, Kristen Kromer Bergeson, who contacted the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, which handles animal control for the county.
According to Bergeson, an officer checked the remains of the dog on her property for an identifying microchip on July 26, but none was found. Without a microchip or a collar, the owner could not be determined.
Microchipping pets is an increasingly common practice in which a small chip is injected beneath the skin of an animal and scanned into a large database. The chip and its serial number are then associated with the contact information of the animal’s owner. Anyone with the proper scanner can check and scan a lost animal for a chip to find the owner.
Bergeson herself investigated the remains of the dog and found it to be bound with a cord, covered in lacerations, and bearing a gunshot wound.
The other two dogs were found shot less than a mile down FM 1174 in a field. Officers managed to locate the dogs’ owners.
In the state of Texas, animal cruelty is a felony that can be punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and two years of jail time. At of Monday morning, Aug. 1, no one had been charged with any of the killings.
“Someone needs to stick up for animals. We have to be their advocates,” said Rhonda Minardi, director of Living Grace Canine Rescue in Bertram.
Minardi notified DailyTrib.com of the killings and expressed concern over the lack of answers regarding them.
“We need to figure out if there is something to be alarmed about,” Minardi said. “Is there somebody out there intentionally hurting our animals?”
Contact the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office at 512-756-8080 with any information regarding the killings.