Investigation underway into possible animal cruelty

Three weimaraner puppies were found dead and possibly beaten at a home on Ironwood in South Bend. Investigators are still working on the case and possible charges against the dog owner.

The dog owner says he wasn't home when the puppies died. He claims he was out of town for interviews, and left the puppies to the care of a friend.

Joseph Perry says he left the puppies, and his other pets with a friend named Scott. But now, Scott, has disconnected his phone and cannot be found. Perry says Scott called him while he was away.

"He said he woke up and they were dead, so he didn't know what to do with hem. And he put them between the 2 garages here. He had to have thrown them though because obviously they were pretty messed up," said Perry.

Animal control was called to the scene and later contacted South Bend Police. Initial responders found three puppies that appeared to be thrown between two garages. They had been left to deteriorate, with visible broken bones.

"It was apparent that the puppies were severely beaten just from a physical viewpoint you could see their were several broken bones, their skulls had been beaten, their jaws were definitely broken," says shelter supervisor Kim Lucas. "It appears somebody did beat them to death."

A vet from the Western Vet clinic conducted initial x-rays on the deceased puppies and said the dogs were covered in maggots, deteriorating.

"The condition these puppies were in was just really bad. And one of the puppies it was hard to tell if there was even a head that was present, just because of the condition," said Chris Payton, an associate vet at Western.

The case is now in the hands of the South Bend prosecutor's office. And they say they can't make decisions until everything has been filed by law enforcement. For now, the case is still under review.

But Perry wants to make it clear this was not his doing.

"All I really want is to make sure everybody understands i did not hurt these animals. I'm not that kind of person, and i would not do that to any animal, vegetable, mineral, person. I wouldn't do that. I'm not that kind of person."

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