State police want to know how a skinned and cooked animal -- possibly a dog -- ended up on the side of a remote road in Lehigh County.
"It makes me absolutely sick," said neighbor Leslie Palmat, who saw the carcass.
According to Palmat, a tree trimmer discovered the animal several days ago on an isolated and heavily-wooded stretch of Route 863 near Lynnport.
"He saw a plastic bag and he thought, 'Oh God, somebody gutted a deer,'" she said. "So he took it and he emptied it out, and he thought, 'Oh Lord, it's a dog or a coyote.'"
According to State police, the animal's feet were cut off. One leg had a rope tied around it.
"Skinned and completely nude of any kind of skin," said Palmat.
But is this a case of animal cruelty? Investigators are trying to figure out if the animal is a dog or a coyote. Both have similar skulls and body structures, according to Christine Gregory, with the Lehigh County Humane Society. Gregory said she has sent DNA and hair samples to a lab for testing. A local vet is also performing a necropsy on the animal.
According to Gregory, coyote hunters sometimes cut the feet off animals. She also said the animal may have had a bullet or BB gun wound in the shoulder. She hopes to have testing finished sometime this week.
We asked Palmat why no one called authorities until Sunday evening, several days after the initial discovery.
"Because other people had told me about it, and we just found other dead wildlife around here, and some people didn't know if it was a coyote," she said.
If you have any information, contact Pennsylvania State Police in Fogelsville at 610-395-1438 or the Lehigh County Humane Society at 610-797-1205, ext. 2.