Editor’s note: Some details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.

DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Darlington County woman’s dog was found dead in Chesterfield County after going missing from the Timberchase community of Hartsville, according to the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office.

George was a 10-month-old English Bulldog and a beloved pet. The fence to his backyard washed out on Friday, and he went missing. He was found Saturday three miles away in Chesterfield County, shot and killed and left on the side of the road.

The dog appeared to have been mutilated, the sheriff’s office said.

Caroline Perry and Shannon Simmons, George’s owners, said they were on a cruise when it happened. Simmons’ mother and sister were watching the house when he went missing. They found empty cans of dog food around the yard, which they think someone used to lure him away from the house.

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“They castrated him,” Perry said. “They cut all his genitals off, and there are no other marks on him. This is some sick individual that’s loose.”

“He was so sweet,” Simmons said. “He brought such joy to us.”

According to neighbors, this isn’t the first time a pet has been killed under mysterious circumstances. Jon Griffin shared images of his Chihuahua, Nugget, who he said was poisoned in February.

“He acted more and more lethargic, didn’t have any energy,” Griffin said. “He started laying around, then throwing up and having diarrhea, and then he passed.”

Shannon Jordan said her dog, Biscuit, was shot and killed while playing in the front yard in February. Simmons and Perry think all of the incidents are connected.

“I just hope they find who did this because this behavior seems like it’s escalating,” Perry said. “I’m worried for the children and the elderly. I just don’t know what’s next. In a matter of a couple months, they’ve already killed three animals.”

In the meantime, residents are using extreme caution. Griffin said he’s keeping a close eye on his other dog, Hank.

“Cruelty to animals is just one of the hardest things,” Griffin said. “It’s really hard on me because if something happened to Hank, I don’t know what I’d do.”

Simmons and Perry set up a GoFundMe to raise reward money for information on the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 843-398-4501.