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No, There Is Not A Dog Serial Killer In Marina Del Rey

Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey. (Photo by Julie U. via the Creative Commons)
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Last week saw a couple of dead-dog related incidents that sparked sadness, outrage and fears that a "dog serial killer" was on the loose. At Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey, a dead dog was found in in the ocean that appeared to be intentionally drowned. Then, a few days later, a decapitated dog was supposedly found floating in Ballona Creek, also near Marina Del Rey.

"There was so much panic in the community—we had people calling us up and crying," Sgt. Larry Ramage told the L.A. Times. "So many people thought we had a serial dog killer on our hands."

"It is sickening to think there is someone out there committing heinous acts of cruelty towards animals," said L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe on Wednesday. "I encourage anyone, who has any information that can help law enforcement with their investigation, to please come forward." Knabe offered a $10,000 reward for information.

Well—turns out, that information wasn't exactly what people were expecting. According to the Daily Breeze, officials from the Department of Animal Care and Control said that the decapitated dog was actually a raccoon—nor was it decapitated. "It was confirmed the body was intact, including the head, and the species appears to be a seriously bloated raccoon," said DACC Director Marcia Mayeda.

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As for the dog found at Mother's Beach? According to the Times, the dog was not drowned, but was already dead when it was brought to the beach.

According to Sgt. Larry Ramage, a homeless man came into the sheriff department's Marina del Rey station on Thursday night looking for his dead dog; he said it had been hit by a car, and he wanted to take it to the beach and wash its body in the ocean because he wanted to stuff the animal.

"You can't make this stuff up," Ramage told the Times.

The man said he tied the shovel to the dog's collar to keep the body from floating, and that he left the beach temporarily to get some of his belongings from another location. When he returned for the dog, it was gone.

According to Ramage, the Sheriff's Dept. has closed the case.Though it's still a mystery as to how one would mistake a bloated raccoon carcass for a decapitated dog—a mystery that should remain just that.