A two-week-old puppy was brutally butchered and left on the ground of a gas station in central New Jersey, and police are now asking for the public's help in locating the suspects.
The killing of the newborn pit bull happened July 26, according to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Authorities said an SUV containing the puppy pulled in to the 19 Express gas station on U.S. Highway 1 and 9 North in Woodbridge Township sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.
There were four people inside the vehicle, believed to be a black Buick Rendezvous, and they made several trips into the gas station store to purchase drinks, investigators said. As they were getting in and out of the vehicle, a nearby witness heard whining coming from inside.
A crying woman was later seen getting out of the Buick, holding a small puppy that was alive and in distress, authorities said.
The puppy had a "massive stomach wound that was consistent with a knife cut on its underside exposing its internal organs," said investigators.
The black vehicle sped off, witnesses reported, leaving behind the woman with the injured dog.
The puppy eventually died from its injuries and was left on the ground of the gas station, according to authorities. The woman was later picked up by a male driver in a dark-colored hatchback, said witnesses.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact SPCA Police at 800-582-5979.
Surveillance video stills of the suspects and the vehicle, as well as of the butchered puppy are available at njspca.org. (Warning: The photos are extremely graphic.)