Stories about missing dogs found dead or badly injured in the Sylvan Lake area in Alberta has some fearing the animals were stolen for dog fighting rings.

The Facebook page for the Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter has received a number of posts about missing dogs.

Melanie Crehan, who runs the shelter, doesn’t believe the animals were attacked by wild animals. She thinks they’ve been taken for dog fighting.

"The thought of what’s happening to those dogs is sickening. Keeps me awake lots of nights," she said.

"I wish there could be an end to it. But we have very little hard information to go on because people seem to be fearful."

Roland Lines from the Alberta SPCA says his organization and the RCMP are investigating. Until more proof turns up, he says word about a dog fighting ring can only be considered a rumour.

"We have opened a file on the situation, but at this point, we haven't found anything specific to investigate," he said.

Melanie Crehan from the animal shelter is recommending that dog owners deadbolt their gates from the inside.