‘Flies everywhere’: Police investigating after dogs found dead inside abandoned moving van in Boston

BOSTON — An investigation is underway after three dogs were found dead inside an abandoned U-Haul van in Boston on Tuesday night, officials said.

Officers responding to a 911 call reporting a “terrible smell” emanating from a van that had been abandoned for weeks at 69 Edgewater Drive in Mattapan just before 9 p.m. found a trio of motionless, medium-sized dogs inside and a bag of dog food locked in the front passenger area, a Boston Police Department incident report stated.

“Everybody was like passing by saying, ‘What’s that smell in here?’ I saw like a dead rat. I tried to take a peak in the van but that thing smelled so bad,” neighborhood resident Yves Vilarson recalled. “Flies were flying everywhere in the car.”

An animal control officer who was called to the scene said the dogs were “bloated” in the sweltering van and noted temperatures in Boston had topped 90 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

As officers worked at the scene, a neighborhood resident approached and said they had spotted at least two dogs inside the van “jumping around and barking” on July 4, but the animals “weren’t let out of the van.”

“Around dusk, when the fireworks were going off, they could hear the dogs barking,” officers wrote in the report.

Other neighbors told officers that a man who “lives around the corner” uses the van for work and he parks it at 69 Edgewater Drive because of a lack of space on his street.

Another man informed officers he spotted two males outside the van with “cleaning stuff” on the morning of July 8 and that a lady told him she saw the dogs “alive 2-3 days ago.”

A five-gallon water jug, three gallons of water, a gray tray, a bottle of bleach, and an Arizona tea can were spotted on the sidewalk near the front of the van, police noted in the report. Boston Public Works was called in to clean the area.

Surveillance video show to Boston 25 News possibly shows the person responsible for leaving the dogs in the van. It shows a man rushing up the driveway of a nearby business with an empty water jug. Workers told us he returned three or four times, pleading for more water on Monday, while also asking for bolt cutters.

Anyone with information on the dogs is urged to contact detectives at 617-343-5607. Anonymous tips can be shared by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME.

An investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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