BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - A rash of strange killings and acts of cruelty involving animals has Bullitt County pet owners worried - no one more so than Sunnie Harrell.
Two of her three pet pigs were brutally beaten and now she’s trying to draw connections with similar abuse cases in the area.
“If it’s not one person doing this then we have several sick sadistic people,” Harrell said.
Howell said she returned home from dinner with her husband Thursday and went to check on the pigs - Honey, Pigrawk and their baby Gypsy. All were trained therapy pigs that visit nursing homes and children who need them most.
“When I came to the gate and I didn’t hear them it didn’t register at that point,” Harrell explained. “Usually when I rattle the gate you start hearing them talk.”
That’s when she discovered something had gone terribly wrong.
Both Honey and Pigrawk were bloodied and battered beyond belief.
“We open up the door and the first pig closest to the door was Honey and she was obviously gone,” Harrell said. “And then Pigrawk was back in the corner and he was gone. Gypsy was sitting in the other corner just sitting there staring.”
Gypsy is the lone survivor of the attack, but she didn’t waddle away unharmed. Howell said she has some bruising and can be skittish around sudden movements.
“She stays depressed when she’s out there by herself,” Harell explained. “She hides underneath the house sometimes. If we get people out she’ll walk around and she’ll go lay down and sit down by the grave sites where her mom and dad are.”
Gypsy’s grief only makes Harrell’s hurt stronger.
“Whoever did this I have hate in my heart that I’ve never had before my life,” she said.
But Howell has vowed to take that energy and refocus it on helping Gypsy recover and find whoever is responsible. Already she has several theories, including unhappy neighbors. But several similar acts of cruelty close by have her wondering.
Recently a cat with its feet tied together was left in the road. In another case a dog stabbed repeatedly. Then, a koi pond poisoned and a dog found covered in gasoline - all within a few miles.
“If it’s not one person doing this then we’re looking at several people and that’s even more scarier thought for me because one person is bad enough,” Harell said of the attacks.
The community has really pulled together for Howell and Gypsy. ADT Security donated home surveillance equipment and local rescue Chelsea’s Way has paid for the first five months of service. In addition, $1,300 has been raised for a reward that will go to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.
If you know anything about any of the animal killings contact the Bullitt County Sheriffs Office at (502) 543-2514.