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‘Somebody tortured that dog’: owner reacts after body of Maltese found in garbage bag

Gunner, a seven-year-old Maltese, was left in an alley way. His body was found two days after he was last seen near his home in North Charleston. (Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Dotson.)

Charleston police are investigating after a dog's body was discovered in a garbage bag in a North Charleston neighborhood. Investigators said it's a possible case of animal cruelty, but there are still more questions than answers.

"Somebody tortured that dog. Something happened to that dog," said owner Gabrielle Dotson.

It was a gruesome discovery for her seven-year-old son.

"Colby came back and was like, 'Mom! I found Gunner!' I said 'Where?' He said 'Mom, he's dead in a trash bag,'" Dotson said.

The body of Gunner, a seven-year-old Maltese, was left in an alley way. His body was found two days after he was last seen near Dotson's home in North Charleston

"He can occasionally get under the gate, but he's lived here for so long, he knows his way back home," Dotson said.

But this time, Gunner never came home, and neighbors are on edge.

"This is a pretty safe neighborhood. Nothing goes on here," said Stephen Jarrett, who lives one block away with his two dogs and three iguanas. "We like to let them run loose and play. It'd be good to keep an eye on them right now."

Charleston police said the dog's body was badly decayed and had "a small hole that appeared to be unnatural" near its stomach area. They are awaiting the results of a necropsy to determine exactly how gunner died. Dotson suspects foul play

"That's your first gut instinct. Who would just do that? The body was in a bag, just the head was out," Dotson said. "Gunner's always there, greeting you...and he's not coming back."

Police are expecting those necropsy results in a few days. If you have any information, call investigators at 304-348-8111.

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