Dog euthanized after being ‘skinned alive’

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

A family pet was humanely euthanized this morning after a Calera veterinarian saw what she called “the worst thing I’ve seen in 15 years.”

Dr. Rhonda Ellison, a veterinarian at Calera Animal Hospital, was at her clinic when Delana Dunnaway brought in her small dog that had been skinned alive.

The dog, a 12-pound black pug named Bama, would have been 2 years old in September, Dunnaway said.

Dunnaway and her husband live off Shelby County 868 in Montevallo on the Chilton County line. She said the neighborhood is “close-knit,” with only one road in and out. She said the act must have happened within a 45-minute span on the morning of May 25.

“My husband left for work about 5:15 a.m., and he was with my husband,” she said. “When I got up at 5:45, my other dogs were barking. He’s always right beside me, and he wasn’t there. I looked for him for about 30 minutes.”

Dunnaway called her husband, and he confirmed Bama had been with him before he left for work.

“Every time I called his name, the other dogs would run to the back of the property. I looked for two hours,” she said.

Dunnaway’s son-in-law joined the search, and found the pug.

“He said, ‘I found him, but he’s bad. He’s alive, but he’s bad. I’m not sure, but it looks like someone skinned him alive.’”

Dunnaway said the dog was skinned “from the back of his head to his tail.” She and her son-in-law rushed the pug to the Calera Animal Hospital.

“We told them we had a trauma, and they brought the stretcher,” she said. “He stood up and walked to the stretcher and wagged his tail at me. Dr. Ellison said he was in traumatic shock.”

According to Dunnaway, Ellison said the cuts were so clean, it couldn’t be an accident or done by an animal.

“She never dreamed that somebody could do this, but I could clearly see it was intentional,” Ellison said.

Ellison said the pug was “suffering horribly,” and that it has no skin, as “90 percent of its body was skinned.”

“It was virtually skinned alive. It was not an accident, clearly not an accident,” Ellison said. “Someone did this to her dog.”

Dunnaway said Ellison told her there wasn’t enough skin to save the pug.

“It hurt my feelings. I knew it was best and didn’t want him to suffer,” Dunnaway said. “I told Dr. Ellison to go ahead and put him down. It hurt my feelings even worse to know someone could do that to an animal.”

Ellison and Dunnaway contacted Calera Animal Control, and Officer Chris Smith contacted Chilton County authorities, as the residence is in their jurisdiction.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in 15 years, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Ellison said. “It’s horrible, truly horrible.”