Former New England Patriots star blasts dog trainer after pet is found dead in closet

Former New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo blasted a dog trainer on social media Monday after the Rhode Island SPCA discovered the old English bulldog dead in a closet at her apartment.

Mayo, who spent his entire eight-year career with the Patriots, posted a photo of his pet, Knox, along with a statement about dog trainer Amelia Ferreira on Instagram.

“Unfortunately, the answers we prayed for regarding Knox aren’t ones we were ready to face,” Mayo wrote on Instagram. “Knox has passed and his BODY WAS FOUND IN THE HOME OF THE OFFLEASH TRAINER. It’s disgusting and inhumane that a company full of ‘dog lovers’ would hide a family pet IN A CLOSET FOR TWO MONTHS and compulsively lie and send us on a wild goose hunt and our kids on an emotional rollercoaster.”

Unfortunately, the answers we prayed for regarding Knox aren’t ones we were ready to face. Knowing what we know now about @offleashk9trainingprov @offleashk9training we mentally explored every outcome possible and the reality is we were right. Knox has passed and his BODY WAS FOUND IN THE HOME OF THE OFFLEASH TRAINER. IT’s disgusting and inhumane that a company full of “dog lovers” would hide a family pet IN A CLOSET FOR TWO MONTHS and compulsively lie and send us on a wild goose hunt and our kids on an emotional rollercoaster. Staging him running away, him being stolen, even him drowning having us knocking on doors sending us false leads as we searched two states. We’ve hired scuba teams, private investigators, lawyers and more when they knew they HAD HIM IN THEIR HOME IN A TRASH BAG tucked away the whole two months. Yeah A TRASH BAG! We raised Knox like our child as you guys can see from our photos and those of you who know us. It hurts to have to accept that our beloved Knox was thought of as trash as they saw our family hurting. Currently all that these people are facing is obstruction. Not animal cruelty🤦🏾‍♀️ or filing false police reports or for plain ole tossing someone’s family member in a trash bag and storing it! From the Mayo family, we want to thank all of the people who spent countless hours looking for Knox. To our social media family, thank you for posting every day. We still have work to do.....we need to bring awareness to this problem so it never happens again. This is just getting started #repost #justice4knox #knoxmayo #offleashk9training #olk9training #olk9ri #offleashk9 #ripknox #knoxslaw

A post shared by Jerod Mayo (@jerod_mayo51) on

Mayo’s dog was initially reported missing in June after going on a walk with Ferreira at a park, according to Boston.com. Ferreira called Wrentham police and officers search the area, but didn’t locate Knox. The dog’s collar was later found on a trail. Ferreira reportedly changed her story and said Knox had disappeared from his crate in her apartment.

The Rhode Island SPCA revealed in a statement Knox died while the dog was with Ferreira. The trainer “intentionally concealed his body from authorities,” the organization said. Mayo accused Ferreira of sending him and his family on “false leads” while searching for Knox.

“We raised Knox like our child, as you guys can see from our photos and those of you who know us. It hurts to have to accept that our beloved Knox was thought of as trash as they saw our family hurting,” Mayo said.

Ferreira is facing obstruction charges, according to Mayo. Additional charges could follow after a necropsy is completed, according to the Rhode Island SPCA.

Mayo joined the Patriots in 2008 afer being drafted out of Tennessee. He plated in 103 games for New England and recorded 11 sacks and 535 total tackles.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.