NORTHEAST FORSYTH — Jezabelle was a Christmas puppy. Now, instead of celebrating the holidays with her owners, her death is being investigated by authorities after the 2-year-old female brindled-colored boxer mix was found hanging from a fallen tree in a park on Lake Lanier in northeast Forsyth.
Hikers along a trail in Bethel Park off Swiss Air Road reportedly came across a deceased dog hanging by a rope around its neck from a fallen tree about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
As of Monday afternoon, it remained unclear whether the dog was killed by the hanging or whether she was already dead and then hung up. A necropsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.
No suspects have been identified. But according to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Cpl. Robin Regan, the incident “appears to be intentional.”
Courtney Thompson said she bought Jezabelle for her boyfriend, Steven Blackstone as a first Christmas present at their new house together. She was his baby.
They have lived in Forsyth County nearly their whole lives and say they do not know who would have done this.
She said Jezabelle — whose third birthday would have been Nov. 29 — went missing Friday from their home near the park, prompting them to post on social media pages in search of her.
A deputy reached out to them on Saturday, asking them to come into the sheriff’s office to identity what could possibly be their dog.
She said she wants the person responsible to be found because if they’re capable of doing this to an animal, who knows what they are capable of doing to a person.
Once hikers notified 911, deputies, Forsyth County Animal Control and county park rangers responded.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns the park land, though the sheriff’s office is leading the investigation, Regan said.