STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- A Staunton couple came home to find their dogs hanged by their own leashes in their backyard.
"It's an unreal feeling. It does not feel real. It only feels real when you look into their empty cages. And they're just gone," said Jessica Hypes.
She and her husband, Larry, are living that lonely nightmare in a house they say is now too quiet. The couple came home Sunday to a sight Larry says he can't get out of his head, "Seeing him in that position back there, man. Just made me wish there was anything I could do to help him."
He said he found two of their three dogs hanging by their leashes from the cage. Their other dog, Bogey, ran away, but returned home Monday morning.
"Oh my gosh. I walked in the house and said, 'Thank God!' I said, 'Larry, he came home.' He just came home. It was the best feeling in such a horrible situation, that we at least have one of them back," said Jessica.
They said their dogs were like their kids.
"I know it's not the same as losing your own child, and I'm no stranger to pain. I lost my brother at 21 and my dad passed away two years ago from cancer. And it hurts. It hurts just as bad. Especially how brutal it was. And just how mean and vicious it was. It wasn't like a natural cause. At all. They were tortured and hung," said Jessica.
They now hold tightly to Bogey and to their memories of Duke and Benji.
"We would all five just pile up right here and watch TV. And now we're two short," said Larry.
With the help of police, they're trying to find out who or what did this to their dogs. Jessica said police told her that they looked at surveillance video from a neighbor's house. She also said that police told her Monday that the dogs might have been killed in a freak accident with the wind, but she says they're still not ruling out foul play.
She said they're waiting on the results from the necropsies.
If you have any information about this case, contact the Staunton Police Department at 540-332-3842.
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