Missing dog found dead in a trash bag on side of the road in Isle of Wight

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Officials in Isle of Wight County are asking for the public’s help to figure out how a dog ended up dead in trash bag on the side of the road with apparent gunshot wounds Tuesday.

Isle of Wight Animal Control says the dog, Ranger, was found near the intersection of Reynolds Drive and Nike Park Road. He was reported missing three days before the bag was found, according to a Facebook post on the Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter page.

Ranger’s owner, Hayden Coats, says his wife called him over the weekend frantic and worried after Ranger didn’t come back when she had let him outside of their home.

Photo Courtesy: Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter

“He would sometimes go on down to the swamp and he’d come right back,’ said Coats. He said Ranger would usually return when he was called, but this time the chocolate lab didn’t come back.

Coats and his wife have had the dog for four years. “He’d lick you to death. He wouldn’t hurt a soul,” said Coats.

A few days after Ranger disappeared, Coats’ mother spotted something on her route to work. “She noticed a bag on the side of the road and she didn’t think anything about it, just that it was odd how it looked,” Coats tells 10 On Your Side.

The bag contained their missing dog. Officials say they weren’t able to recover any evidence from the bag because of the weather elements, but Ranger’s collar was found about a half a mile away from where the bag was located.

They’re asking anyone with any information to contact Animal Control at (757) 365-6318 or to email twebb@isleofwightus.net 

Coats and his family just want closure. “It blows my mind. Who could do this to an innocent dog?”