ELGIN, Okla. (KSWO) – An Oklahoma animal shelter is under fire after a resident’s missing dog was found dead in a pit just feet away from the facility.
Last month, Teri Bartosovsky’s dog, Major, went missing.
Bartosovsky says she called the officer, but was told he didn’t have Major.
After pressing further, he later admitted that Major was taken to the shelter. However, he said the dog had either escaped or was stolen.
She found out later that was a lie.
“I just felt like something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t right, something was missing; I wasn’t getting the full story,” Bartosovsky said.
She says she felt like Animal Control Officer Daniel Linthicum knew where Major was, but refused to tell her.
“I told him if my dog was dead, he needed to tell me that,” Bartosovsky said.
She says Linthicum told her that Major wasn’t dead, and that he was making it a priority to find him.
Bartosovsky decided to head to the shelter herself on Christmas Eve, where she found a hole filled with dead squirrels a black trash bag and trash.
The family went on vacation, but couldn’t take their minds off of the pit, so they came home early.
“We talked about it, we thought about it, we just couldn’t get it out of our mind. We feared he was in that bag. So, we returned and pulled the bag and found our dog, dead,” she said.
At that time, Bartosovsky found out what really happened to her dog.
She was told that the night her dog was brought to the shelter, he was weak and couldn’t walk. He was taken to a kennel and left in it with another dog.
The next day, workers found him dead.
Linthicum says Major was attacked by a pit bull.
“Major was defenseless. The dog ravished (sic) him. There was blood everywhere. Major was torn up,” Linthicum said.
Linthicum says he lied to Bartosovsky because he didn’t have the heart to tell her how her dog died, especially around the holidays.
“I did not want to tell her that there was blood on every inch. I didn’t want to tell her there was blood on me. I didn’t want to tell her that,” he said. “I hoped she would take solace in the fact that maybe somebody wanted Major and was going to give Major a good home, not that Major had just been killed.”
Despite his recent admission, Bartosovsky says she still questions how her dog died.
The family sent Major’s body to a veterinary school in Stillwater for an autopsy.
“Hopefully, we will have more answers. His ears are removed, they appear to be removed by severing them, not by a dog tearing them off,” she said. “He doesn’t have any wounds on his neck.”
Bartosovsky says Linthicum’s lies are inexcusable and that he needs to be removed from his position.
Linthicum says after this incident, he plans to step down from the job after he was made out to be a monster.
“After this, I can’t, I can’t after this. I have people saying that I cut those dog’s ears off. They are saying I cut his ears off. No, I’m not. I’m not,” he said.
Linthicum hasn’t officially resigned, but KSWO says he is not currently working.
The Elgin Animal Shelter says the hole in the ground is its procedure for disposing dead animals.
The shelter will remain closed until further notice.
The dogs staying in the shelter have been placed in temporary care.