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Lost dogs shot, dumped in wooded area of Westmoreland County

NEW STANTON, Pa. — The McElfresh family is devastated after discovering both of their dogs were brutally shot over the weekend.

“I think knowing it was most likely malicious, it makes it a little harder to deal and cope,” Caraline McElfresh said.

“Aspen had two; she was shot under the armpit … and then she was shot again above the neck, and Hagrid was shot right in the face,” McElfresh said.

Aspen and Hagrid were apparently dumped in a field together a couple hundred yards behind Calvary Baptist Church in Hunker. It was within a mile from the McElfresh’s home.

“They’re extremely friendly dogs, they wouldn’t have hurt anyone,” McElfresh said.

The pair disappeared on Thursday.

CLICK HERE to see more photos of Hagrid and Aspen the family shared with Channel 11.

Family and neighbors were scouring the surrounding area for days, desperately trying to find them.

Their bodies were apparently found by hunters Saturday night.

However, the dogs were found without their collars on and no evidence was left behind, according to state police.

“We were unable to find any shell casings at the scene so it was difficult to tell, I don’t think the dogs were actually killed where they were left,” Trooper Steve Limani said.

“It’s hard knowing that we were so close to them out in the woods and it was just a spot we missed. We didn’t possibly think they could be dead. We thought maybe they were galavanting around in the woods being dogs,” McElfresh said.

State police are working with DCNR to see if any trail cameras picked anything up.

The McElfresh family can’t make sense of why someone would want to hurt their family pets in such a cruel and inhumane way.

“I just thought maybe it was a hunter that got mad they were chasing the deer away, but I don’t know. I don’t know what to make of it, or how it could’ve happened,” McElfresh said.

Troopers ask anyone that saw anything over the weekend that may be related to this to call state police at 724-832-3288.