Skip to content

Police investigate killed rabbits in Leadwood


LEADWOOD – The Leadwood Police Department is urgently seeking information regarding a disturbing act of cruelty to animals they say occurred in the early morning hours on Thursday. According to a Facebook post by the department, two domestic rabbits were intentionally killed at a residence on West North Street between midnight and 6 a.m.

Leadwood Police Chief Chris Heatherly is investigating an animal cruelty case involving two slaughtered domestic rabbits.

The rabbits belonging to George “Bill” Fitzwater were considered therapy animals by the Fitzwater family, giving the 80-year-old some animals for which to care while he struggles with dementia and Parkinson’s.

Brandy Fitzwater, George’s daughter-in-law, described the rabbit enclosure as elevated off the ground by bricks, completely inaccessible to any kind of animal. She described the rabbits as a pair, one of them having been bought to keep the other company.

One of the rabbits was found decapitated, and its body was left out of the cage in the middle of the yard. Another rabbit was discovered approximately 50 feet away from its enclosure, allegedly having been struck in the head with a sharp object. According to the police report, no suspects have been identified.

Upon receiving the distressed phone call on Thursday at about 11 a.m., officers promptly responded to the incident on West North Street. Upon investigating, the police stated in their report that witnesses who were questioned in the neighborhood recalled seeing a dark-colored vehicle with its parking lights on in front of West North Street at about 1 a.m. early Thursday.

Leadwood Police Chief Chris Heatherly ruled out the possibility of an animal attack, as the decapitated rabbit’s head appeared to have been cleanly severed with a knife. The rabbit’s head has yet to be located.

The Leadwood Police Department is looking for any further details to help them find the party or parties responsible for the killings. Those with relevant details are encouraged to contact the Leadwood Police Department through their Facebook page or by calling 573-562-7337.