In a “disturbing” case of animal cruelty, two Illinois residents were arrested for starving their dogs to death.

According to local reports, the body of a German shepherd named Otis was found near a ditch in early March. The canine, that was wrapped in a bedsheet, was found in a storage container. Officials said the dog was malnourished and weighed only 20 pounds. Investigation revealed that 19-year-old Sarah M. Gorski and 27-year-old Andre P. Norris were the owners of the dog.

Following this, a search warrant was executed at their home during which another dog was found inside a rusted dog crate which was filled with animal feces, blood and urine. The canine was severely starved and had "massive sores.” Officials said the canine could not walk. Another dog that belonged to them was found dead in a field. Officials said Gorski and Norris had dumped the dog, a Corgi named Bubba, in the field wrapped in a bedsheet.

Necropsies were conducted on the two canines which revealed that Otis died from starvation and rat poisoning and Bubba too died of severe starvation.

The owners were taken into custody. They were charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor unlawful disposal of an animal on Tuesday (May 5). They remained in jail and were scheduled to appear in court June 1.

Speaking about the incident, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said, "To say the charges against Sarah Gorski and Andre Norris are disturbing would be a gross understatement. Otis and Bubba both died a horrible, painful death, allegedly because these two defendants starved them to death. What's even more disturbing is the allegation that the defendants fed Otis rat poison. If these charges are proven in court, the defendants will pay a serious price."

Meanwhile, Naperville police Chief Robert Marshall said the case was taken "extremely seriously" by the department. The animal control, the state's attorney, veterinary colleges at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University helped them in the investigation.

"I am very pleased we are holding those allegedly responsible in this case accountable for their actions. I am appalled by the alleged abuse perpetrated on these defenseless animals,” he said.

German Shepherd
In this photo, a dog is seen during the First Championship of German Shepherd Dog Breeding organized by the Association of German Shepherd Dogs of Nicaragua in Managua, Feb. 10, 2013. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images