ELGIN, Okla._Elgin's animal shelter is under fire after a resident's missing dog was found dead in a black trash bag thrown in a pit just feet away from the city's animal shelter.
Last month, Teri Bartosovsky's 10-year-old German shorthair, Major, went missing. A week went by and after posting a picture of her missing dog to Facebook, a woman told her she found him and had taken him to an Elgin animal control officer's home. Bartosovsky then contacted the officer, only to be told he didn't have him.
When first confronted by the dog's owner, the animal control officer said he never had the dog. After being pressed further, he admitted the dog was taken to the shelter, but that he had escaped or was stolen. It turns out that was a lie too.
After Animal Control Officer Daniel Linthicum's stories flopped back and forth, Teri Bartosovsky grew suspicious about her dog's actual whereabouts.
"I just felt like something wasn't right. Something wasn't right, something was missing, I wasn't getting the full story," said Bartosovsky.
She says at one point, she felt like he knew where her dog was but wasn't telling her.
"I told him if my dog was dead, he needed to tell me that," said Bartosovsky.
She says Linthicum told her that her dog Major wasn't dead, and that he was making it a priority to find him. Still frustrated, Bartosovsky decided to head to the shelter herself Christmas Eve, where she found a pit filled with dead animals, like squirrels, empty dog food bags and multiple black plastic trash bags.
After Christmas, the Bartosovsky's went on vacation, but couldn't take their mind off the pit and 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," said Bartosovsky.
It wasn't until then an outraged Bartosovsky found out what really happened. She was told the night her dog was brought to the shelter he was weak and couldn't walk. He was taken to the kennel and the next day was found dead. Linthicum says Major was attacked by a pit bull.
"Major was defenseless. The dog ravished him. There was blood everywhere. Major was torn up," said Linthicum.
Linthicum says he's been doing this job for nearly a decade, and says he's never seen a dog this bad. He says he lied to the owner because he didn't have the heart to tell her, especially being Christmas Eve.
"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. 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," said Linthicum.
But despite his recent admission, Bartosovsky says she still questions how her dog died. That's why her family has sent Major's body to a vet 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. He doesn't have any wounds on his neck," said Bartosovsky.
For the time being, Bartosovsky says Linthicum's lies are inexcusable and that he needs to be removed from his position, and may get her wish. 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 dogs ears off. They are saying I cut his ears off. No, I'm not. I'm not," said Linthicum.
Now despite what he told us, Linthicum hasn't officially resigned as the Animal Control Officer in Elgin, but we were told he is not currently working. You should also know, while we were at the shelter, we saw another dog carcass in the pit. We were told that it was the shelter's procedure in disposing of a dead animal.