GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) – Two pet dogs had to be put down after police say they had been eating their dead owner’s body.
Investigators were called to the victim’s apartment Monday night. A friend of 40-year-old Robert Frantsi was worried after he stopped answering calls and texts for a few days.
Police believe he’d been dead since Saturday from an apparent overdose.
The victim’s friends were hoping to take ownership of his dogs even after knowing what they did to his body. Now they’re upset the animals weren’t given a second chance.
Friday night was the last time Tabitha Miller spoke to Frantsi in person. “He was going through some depression issues. I spoke with him extensively about those. By the time I left his apartment he seemed to be in better spirits,” she said.
She even texted him the next day just to check up, but he never answered. Miller stopped by his apartment Monday, but Frantsi didn’t answer the door.
Miller said she had apartment staff check on him and that the staff member noticed a bad odor once inside. Miller called 911 and investigators found Frantsi dead in his bedroom.
Police said his two dogs, described by Miller as a five month old cane corso mastiff and a 13-year-old pitbull, had eaten the soft tissue off of his face, neck, and upper chest.
Miller said the pets were friendly and never showed any aggression. She was hoping to adopt them after Frantsi’s death, saying it’s what he would have wanted. But the dogs were put down at the Johnson County Animal Shelter later that night.
“They promised me that I had a few days and they would not euthanize them on arrival,” said Miller.
According to Indiana State Board of Animal Health, a state veterinarian has the authority to declare an animal a public health hazard which would then give them the right to euthanize it.
“In this instance, because it was a biohazard and of such a large sort it’s the belief of the (Johnson Co.) health department that they acted in a way that was protecting the health of the workers and the shelter and the other animals involved,” said Betsy Swearingen, Environmental Health Specialist with the Johnson County Health Department.
“I understand both sides of the story. I can see both parties’ points of view. I just believe the (Johnson Co. Animal Shelter) made a decision based the severity of the situation and they exercised their best judgment in the case,” she added.
We tried talking the Johnson County Animal Shelter’s director to get their reasoning on why the dogs were euthanized. However, the director is out of town and nobody else was allowed to explain it why the dogs were put down other than it was a “public health issue.”
Representatives at the State Board of Animal Health referenced other cases like this one in Indiana in which pet dogs began eating their dead owner’s bodies. They said those dogs were also put down immediately.