Authorities confirm second skinned animal found in the Shoals

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WARNING: The following story contains graphic and disturbing content.

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. --  The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office is investigating another animal cruelty case involving a skinned animal found in the Shoals.

Animal control officers, along with sheriff's investigators responded to the scene and found what appeared to be a dog lying on the side of the road. It had been skinned and decapitated. A man living near the scene told investigators he thought he recognized the animal as one he had seen in the neighborhood.

An animal control officer took the animal to a veterinarian who believes the animal could be a coyote following a post-mortem examination of the body.

Investigators have not officially confirmed what type of animal it is at this time.

"I don't know if we're going to be able to but we've got to figure out, like you said, is it a coyote, is it a dog, was the animal alive when it was skinned, was it dead, either way, it would be animal cruelty," explained Sgt. Matt Horton with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office.

This is the second skinned animal discovered in the Shoals in just over a week. (Warning: there are images in the linked story that are extremely graphic and hard to look at.) An animal was found in Colbert County just off River Road last Thursday. It, too, had been skinned and discarded, prompting a criminal investigation.

Animal control officers say whether it was a dog or a coyote, it's disturbing and they want to know who is doing this, and why.