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Baker County couple says dogs were tortured, shot, killed

BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies with the Baker County Sheriff's Office are investigating a case of animal abuse that left two dogs dead, and the details might be hard for some to read.

The couple who owned the two dogs -- Esa the Rottweiler and Pup-Pup the pit bull mix -- said their pets were tortured, killed and left on the side of an obscure dirt road.

On Saturday, Patrick Gagliardo and his fiancée, Jill Holloway, began searching for their dogs after they appeared to have chased another animal off the property.

"I started calling for them around our farm, and they were not coming back. They're usually not that unresponsive," Gagliardo said.

The couple said when they first started looking for the dogs, they heard several gunshots beyond a tree line. Two days later, the dogs' bodies were discovered 5 miles away along Wint Rewis Road, which the Sheriff's Office said is one of the least traveled roads in Baker County.

"I get a message through my Facebook that two dogs -- that says, 'RIP. Two dogs had been shot."'

A neighbor found the dogs and alerted Gagliardo. When he got closer to the scene, he realized the dogs were not just shot. He first saw Esa.

"I could tell somebody drug her, then lit her face on fire," Gagliardo said.

 He also said the dog's legs were broken. As for Pup-Pup,

"He had been dragged, and he had been beaten," Gagliardo said. "He was beaten so bad I couldn't take his collar off."

"It's so emotional and so bad," Holloway said. "What kind of person does that?"

Holloway's father is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information about who was responsible for killing the dogs.

Holloway started a donation account to raise money, which will go toward the reward.

Officials with the Baker County Sheriff's Office said there is a lot more to the story that will come out once their investigation is complete. Investigators said there are a lot of rumors involving the case that are circulating on social media that have not been confirmed.


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