More dead animals with their ears cut off have been found in rural Manitoba.
In the ditches close to where a dead pony and goat were discovered last week, the remains of three coyotes and a raccoon have been found, said RCMP. The ears of all six animals had been removed.
On March 23, Heather Eagle Bears found a dead goat while driving home on a gravel road that leads off a well-travelled highway in the rural municipality of Whitewater, about 15 kilometres south of Brandon. She noticed the goat's hind legs were bound and its ears were gone.
"When we found the goat, it was kind of disturbing," she said.
"I raise goats and that's definitely not how we treat them — dead or alive. Then, when we found the horse, that was a whole other level. It was a pretty grisly discovery."
The horse Eagle Bears found was actually a miniature pony. She came across it three days after finding the goat. Its ears were also missing.
The Mounties were called March 26 after the second animal was found, said RCMP Const. Tyler Schryvers.
"It's highly unusual, highly unusual for sure," Schryvers said.
Police said it's unclear exactly when the animals were left in the ditch or how they died. They could have been there for some time, and may have previously been covered in snow.
'We need to catch them'
A Brandon Humane Society spokesperson called the acts of animal cruelty "evil" and the person or people responsible "monsters."
"With something like this, whatever this is, there's no conscience," Tracy Munn said.
She hopes whoever is responsible is found and held accountable beyond a slap on the wrist.
"We need to catch them and they need to pay the price. They need to go to jail," she said.
The RCMP is working with the Chief Veterinary Office of Manitoba on the investigation.
"They're assisting by attending the scene to remove the animals and take them back for examinations and to hopefully identify how the animals died, if they suffered and if there's any identification markings on the animals that could, hopefully, lead us to an owner," Schryvers said.
"They haven't gone through an extensive amount of decomposition, thankfully, so we're hoping to get some kind of information from them."
The RCMP have checked with property owners in the area and none are missing animals, Schryvers said.
"So we're relying on tips from the public," he said.
Whoever is responsible could face Criminal Code charges related to unnecessary suffering of an animal as well as endangering or injuring an animal, he added.
"There are a lot of animal lovers out there who are deeply affected and troubled by this and who all wish to see a good conclusion in the end and they hope the wrongdoers are pursued and caught," Schryvers said.
Anyone with information can contact the RCMP at 204-726-7519 or Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted online through the Manitoba Crime Stoppers website or by texting "TIPMAN" plus a message to CRIMES (274637).