Reward offered in Gadsden dog skinning case

Reward offered in Gadsden dog skinning case

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This is a photo of Skip, the dog found skinned to death Gadsden. Source: Pruitt family This is a photo of Skip, the dog found skinned to death Gadsden. Source: Pruitt family
Gadsden police say John Michael Smith is a person of interest in the case. Source: Etowah County Sheriff's Office Gadsden police say John Michael Smith is a person of interest in the case. Source: Etowah County Sheriff's Office

Gadsden police say they are still getting leads, but so far no arrests, in the cruel death of a dachshund known as "Skip."

Skip lived with the Pruitt family for 10 years in the Alabama City area of Gadsden. His owner, Jerry Pruitt, says he and his neighbors first found blood, then found Skip's mutilated body.

Skip had been tied up in his owners' backyard on a very long leash, in keeping with Gadsden's leash law. A veterinarian later said he believed Skip had been skinned alive.

An anonymous dog owner is offering a $300 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The detective investigating the case, Mike Hooks, has a dachshund himself, as does his commander, Captain Regina May. Hooks says it's an unusual, and emotional, case for him.

"It seems like this was either a message or some kind of, you know, I'm not sure what it is, if there's anything to do with kids or something to do with anything, but it takes a cruel person to do something like that," Sgt. Hooks said.

Police say they're still looking for a man named John Smith, who they consider a "person of interest."

They say Smith has made phone contact but otherwise appears to be in hiding.

Anyone with information on the case can call the Gadsden Police Department at 256-549-4630.

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