COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. (FOX 9) - Cottage Grove police are investigating after the gruesome discovery of eight dead dogs on Grey Cloud Island this past weekend.
FOX 9 is told the dogs were found on a stretch of Grey Cloud Island Drive that is within Cottage Grove. An animal cruelty investigation is now underway after the shocking find.
Police say there were no obvious signs of abuse or malnourishment to the dogs. Rather, these looked like pets who were otherwise healthy and well-groomed. Police are now trying to figure out who left the dogs there and why.
"So, this area is a rural part of town, but there are two bridges," said Cottage Grove Officer Dan Schoen. "So we are standing on what is considered an island."
Great Cloud Island sits in the middle of the Mississippi River, partially part of Cottage Grove, but it feels very remote. On Sunday afternoon, on the side of the road, a passing officer made the disturbing discovery.
"There they were healthy-looking dogs that look like they had been taken care of and that at some point they were somebody's pets," said Officer Schoen.
The eight dogs were stacked on the edge of the tree line with no attempt to hide them. All were recently deceased but nothing was apparent as to how the dogs died.
"Like I said, the dogs looked healthy," added Officer Schoen. "They didn't look like they had any malnourishment. Their bodies were just well taken care of -- like they were groomed."
But all of them dumped together is why Cottage Grove Police have opened an animal cruelty investigation. The eight dogs are all smaller Schnauzer terrier-type breeds and range in age from puppy to adult. The Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley is helping determine when they died and how.
"There are so many wild stories online that must be this ritualistic thing or whatever," said Officer Schoen. "It just really doesn't appear to be that."
But they're still here is a potential felony and, though remote, this is a popular recreational area. Police hope somebody saw something helpful. "If it's your dogs, tell us what happened so we can determine what really went on here. It just leaves people concerned. And we want to make sure we're doing right by everybody, including the animals."
If you know anything about the case, Officer Schoen asks that you give the Cottage Grove Police Department a call. He adds, that if you are having trouble caring for your pets, there are resources available to have them re-homed.