Warning: This story contains graphic photos.

The reward for information in the case of Anne, the beagle that was skinned alive in Vinemont, Alabama has risen to over $35,000. Now a state pathologist is saying that the skinning may have been accidental, done by a ‘machine.’

Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden said Monday that a report by George D’Andrea, of the state diagnostic veterinary lab in Auburn, said the force used to remove the dog’s skin and the absence of knife marks means some type of machinery was involved.

While this does not rule out the wounds being intentionally inflicted, Roden said, it does open up the possibility of the dog’s injuries being accidental.

The report might also make it harder to prosecute a suspect if an arrest is made. The case remains open, even though the investigation is being scaled back.

“This would mean there’s a low probability that it occurred through some sort of malicious act,” Roden said. “It’s surprised us because, early on, we were treating this case as though it was the result of something intentional. And if we had to do it over, I believe that’s the appropriate way to handle it. But we don’t want to rule anything out.” (The Birmingham News)

3 yr old beagle, Annie, skinned while aliveSheriff Roden is ‘personally skeptical’ as well as the vet, Dr. Bruce Lee, who initially examined Anne after she was brought in by her owners, Neal and Janet Rodgers.

“I felt then there was a suspicion of foul play and I always will,” Lee said. “I know of no other possible way that this could have happened without the dog having other injuries.”

Although Roden said D’Andreas suspects the injury was caused by “some type of machinery” he admitted he too finds it difficult to not be skeptical of the findings.

“When I look at it myself it’s hard to come to such a conclusion,” Roden said.

“He (D’Andreas) could not come to any hard, fast 100-percent conclusions on exactly what happened to the animal.”

However, he conceded to D’Andreas’ expertise. “He’s the expert.” (Cullman Times)

Janet Rodgers, who owned Anne, also disagreed with the report. “I think it is absolutely a3 yr old beagle, Annie, skinned alive mistake,” she said. “There is just no way anyone can make me believe it was done with a machine.”

The pathologist believes the wound to be consistent which what is called a ‘degloving’ injury where ‘the skin was pulled from the animal rather than cut from off the animal.’

Now, obviously I am not an expert and would much rather believe this poor dog’s injuries came from an accident rather than the cruel hand of a human being, I have to say that I never expected this kind of a conclusion.

I only hope and pray that the pathologist is right because due to his report, the investigation is being scaled back, not closed, but it will not be such a high priority nor so actively pursued. Let us hope there is not some maniac running around.

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