A Strathcona County couple is coping with the loss of their two dogs after both animals were found dead along a railway track near their anchorage on Tuesday morning.

Jim Thompson said his two dogs, a six-year-old Belgian shepherd named Rio and a four-year-old basset hound named Annie, were shot at his property and later dumped at the track where a train ran over the animals’ bodies.

“To say this is devastating would be an understatement,” said Thompson, who became emotional during a telephone interview with Metro yesterday.

“We just can’t believe that something like this actually did happen. This is totally amazing to us how this could occur.”

Thompson’s wife, Moni, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer back in March 2006 and then breast cancer a year later, is struggling with the loss of their two pets since they were always by her side as she continued to fight her illness, he said.

“These dogs were very essential caregivers to my wife,” said Thompson.

“These (dogs) were her life and to have something like this happen is just terrible.”

Thompson said he was at his office in Edmonton and his wife was getting groceries in Sherwood Park when neighbours heard gunshots at the 40-acre property near Range Road 204 and Wye Road sometime around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

CN Police also called the family at around 1 p.m. to inform them that they found the dogs, and later called an investigator to look at the animals, said Thompson.

“They found our basset hound, Annie, who had her head decapitated, and Rio was in between the rails … He was cut in two,” said Thompson.

Thompson says an X-ray by a local veterinarian confirmed that Rio had a bullet lodged behind his head and Annie had bullet fragments in her chest.

Strathcona RCMP said they are handling the investigation and so far no charges have been laid.