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12/31/13 UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect new information discovered by Metro Animal Services. We've been told that authorities' initial characterization of the animal as a German Shepherd mix was incorrect. Metro Animal Services officials have indicated that after close examination, the type of animal involved cannot yet be determined.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An unidentified animal -- one that was initially mistakingly characterized as a German Shepherd -- was mutilated, dismembered, then left in a gas station parking lot for all to see.
Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) says the animal was found severely mutilated and missing multiple body parts in Valley Station Monday.
Initially, authorities told the media the animal was a dog -- a German Shepherd mix. But on Tuesday, Metro Animal Services officials indicated that after close examination, they have determined that the animal is not a German Shepherd. They are still trying to identify the type of animal involved.
Officials are calling it one of the worst animal abuse cases they've ever seen.
"The extent of the injuries and the way the animal looked is really what put it in a class of its own," says Margaret Brosko of LMAS.
Brosko says the animal was left behind a dumpster in the parking lot of the Valero gas station on Valley College Drive and Stone Street. Officials believe the animal was dumped there between 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday.
Investigators are still trying to figure out where the dog came from and who abused it.
"We know that somebody knows what happened and we want to make sure that we bring these people to justice," said Brosko. "It's better to call than to say 'what if.'"
As officers scoured the area for clues Monday, neighbors living above the gas station were disturbed by the news.
"Anything can happen in any part of town, but just to hear something like that around here it's really shocking," said self-proclaimed dog lover Isaac Owens.
"It really just churns your stomach because you think who would do this to someone who really can't protect itself," says Brosko.
Officials with LMAS say they are treating this incident as they would a human homicide, collecting every piece of evidence and considering all possible scenarios.
A necropsy on the animal should be complete within a few days.
The Humane Society of the United States is offering up to a $5,000 reward for any tips that lead to an arrest or conviction.
Any information should be directed to LMAS at (502) 363-6609.