Skinned dog in Olympia wasn't abused, had gone through taxidermy

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A dog that was found skinned in the woods outside Olympia last week had been ethically euthanized and undergone taxidermy, the Thurston County sheriff’s office said Wednesday night.

The Bernese mountain dog was a “beloved family pet” at the end of its life.

"The family opted to have the dog memorialized through the use of a local taxidermist," the sheriff's office said a news release.

The dog was found in the woods near the Nisqually River, skinned and missing its ears, paws and tail. The discovery awakened fear in the Olympia area that the person who killed and mutilated 13 cats had moved on to dogs.

Detectives said the taxidermist improperly disposed of the dog’s carcass once the skinning process was finished, and hadn’t heard about the cat mutilation cases.

“There is no animal cruelty element to this case and it is closed at this time,” detectives said in a news release.