Expert determines dog was attacked by another animal–not skinned

Published 2:11 pm Friday, August 3, 2012

An expert has determined injuries to a dog–a case that led to an investigation by the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department and a reward of at least $13,500–were caused by another animal and not a person.

Bama, Delana Dunnaway’s 1-year-old pug, was found on May 25 missing “90 percent” of his skin, Dr. Rhonda Ellison of Calera Animal Hospital said at the time.

The dog was euthanized because of its injuries, but the story continued. The case was investigated by the sheriff’s department, and several people contributed to a reward for information, including an anonymous pledge of $10,000 to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society that would have been paid in the event of an arrest and conviction.

Alas, the search for Bama’s attacker concluded recenty when Rachel Touroo, doctor of veterinary medicine at the University of Florida and director of veterinary forensics for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, performed a necropsy and announced the culprit was another animal.

Based on puncture wounds on Bama’s head and around the parts of his body that had been “degloved,” Touroo wrote in a report that the injuries were the result of “an attack by a large domestic dog, coyote/wolf hybrid, etc…rather than an instrument or tool.”

Sheriff’s department Chief Deputy Shane Mayfield said he received the official report Friday. Touroo alerted investigators about her initial findings earlier, and police officials contacted those who were involved in the case, including Dunnaway.

“She seemed relieved and said she was glad that it was another animal instead of somebody that did it,” Mayfield said.

Sheriff’s officials echoed the sentiment.

“We did everything we could do, and we’re glad it was an animal attack too,” Mayfield said. “We can take a deep breath now, knowing that there’s not someone up there taking a knife to a dog–someone that could have eventually turned to people.”

Dunnaway’s residence is off Chilton County Road 686 close to Montevallo.