EAST PRAIRIE — Residents upset by a rash of recent dog poisonings said the problem has been going on for years, and that the perpetrator needs to be caught before it happens again.
Fifteen dogs were found dead on Wednesday, and more are missing in the Mississippi County town of East Prairie.
Sheriff Keith Moore is investigating, but said he doesn't have much to go on. A crime lab is working to identify the poison. He has no suspects or witnesses.
Pet owners said someone left bags of poisoned meat on the roads.
Residents around the Delmo Project near East Prairie covered up their dead dogs with blankets, some calling it the saddest sight they'd ever seen.
Ronnie Woods, 10, said both of his puppies died after being poisoned.
"They were more like brothers and sisters," he said. "Probably had six dogs been poisoned since we lived out here. Having to go through it again stinks."
Sheila Sisk said all three of her dogs died after eating the poison.
"They should be punished as if they killed a person," she said. "They need to realize that people who don't have kids or grandbabies, that's their babies, and they were my babies."
Two poisoned beagles were taken to a veterinarian and are now in good shape.