VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - It was a horrifying discovery near a Vallejo park - as many as a dozen dead dogs were stuffed into garbage bags, and they appear to have been family pets.
The woman who found them wants to get to the bottom of it.
"I didn't know what to think at first. My dogs scented it, and tried to pull me down here," said Carine Peters, leading KTVU down an embankment off busy Columbus Parkway.
The path where she walks her German Shepherds is steps away from Blue Rock Springs Park. When her dogs tried to lunge into the shrubbery, she went closer, and got a whiff of the stench.
Then she saw three black plastic trash bags, with dogs stuffed inside, and a few strewn alongside.
"There were probably ten to twelve different animals, all different sizes, all different breeds, and it was shocking, absolutely incredibly shocking to me," Peters told KTVU.
Their bodies were deteriorating, but Peters could make out most breeds.
She noticed a few were big dogs, Labradors and retrievers, but none had anything identifying like collars or tags.
"These animals lost their lives to something sick and depraved. I don't know what happened. Were they bait dogs for fighting? Is there some individual out here that is killing dogs?" Peters made her discovery in mid-February.
She reported it and kept stopping by, hoping to find authorities investigating.
But between the wet weather and coyotes that carted off the remains, by the time police and animal control officers came to take a look, there wasn't much left to examine.
"Of course I want a full-blown homicide investigation, but they don't warrant an investigation," complained Peters. "They say there's nothing to test, or to look at. In my mind there is."
Namely, two poles found near the dogs, possibly used to kill them. One pole has a box cutter blade attached to it.
The other appears to be a tree trimming tool with a scissor type head, dog fur and black plastic still tangled in it.
A local rescue group, The Center of Animal Rescue and Education of Solano County, has stepped up to help Peters.
CARES members came to the site, and like Peters, believe the dogs were stolen pets.
"They were clean, their coats were groomed, and blond yorkies aren't generally strays," noted CARES leader Cindy Shay.
"Of course the most obvious question is why, and how could anybody do this? They were helpless, yorkies, little dogs."
Now, alongside the bits of fur and tail on the ground, animal lovers have placed chew toys and stuffed toys in tribute to the dogs.
CARES is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Peters no longer feels alone. "I feel supported by the community now, but I don't think I'll ever be the same," she said sadly. "It's very painful. I cannot believe that someone would do this. And it's scary."