ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Police have no leads and are seeking the public's help in an animal cruelty investigation stemming from a 12-year-old Chihuahua's brutal killing.
Odessa resident Irma Urias said her family's beloved pet, Tinkerbell, went missing Sunday morning from their home in the 200 block of East 17th Street. The dog was found dead several hours later in the 300 block of East 17th Street, according to a police report, and "appeared to have been tortured."
Urias shared photos of Tinkerbell's injuries with NewsWest 9 and said "the community needs to see" the full extent of the cruelty inflicted on the helpless animal.
Large portions of the dog's skin had been peeled back and sliced off, exposing her flesh and brain.
"We're putting this out there so we can stop this from happening to another animal," she told NewsWest 9. "And we hope someone, somewhere who sees this might might know something. We miss Tinkerbell so much... We are just devastated."
The loyal Chihuahua often "acted like a Great Dane" and left her family with 12 years of treasured memories, Urias said.
The extensive injuries are not the result of an accident or an attack from another animal, according to investigators, and appeared to be inflicted by someone who set out to torture the dog.
Odessa Police spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur called the skinning "extremely disturbing" and said the department "rarely" sees such brutality in animal cruelty cases.
"It's unclear exactly which object was used to skin the dog," he said. "At this point, we have absolutely no leads to go off of, so we're reaching out to the public for any information they might have in reference to this incident."
Officials could not identify a clear motive or confirm how many people were behind the crime.