Jerod Mayo’s 5-year-old English bulldog Knox was found dead over the weekend, its body discovered under what the former NFL linebacker said were “disgusting and inhumane” circumstances in the home of its trainer.

Mayo, a former defensive captain for the New England Patriots, wrote on Instagram about the tricolor dog, which he said his family had raised “like our child.” The dog reportedly died while it was with Amelia Ferreira, its off-leash trainer, in Cranston, R.I., and was discovered by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

In June, Ferreira reported to police that Knox had gone missing at a local park while on a walk. Later, she allegedly claimed the dog had gone missing from its crate in her apartment. While the search was being conducted and Mayo posted social media pleas for the dog’s return, she allegedly hid the dog in a closet in her apartment. Ferreira is charged with one count of obstruction for concealing evidence and misleading police. Additional charges could be filed when the dog’s cause of death is determined.

The loss was terrible for the Mayos, especially under circumstances he described in his Instagram post.

“Unfortunately, the answers we prayed for regarding Knox aren’t ones we were ready to face,” he wrote in a post Monday. “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 OFF-LEASH 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 roller coaster. 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 ol’ 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.”

Mayo and his family had posted a note about Knox on June 30, when Mayo wrote that the family was “praying to have him back with us safe and sound.” Appealing to whomever might have found the dog, he added, “we pray that they are working diligently on reversing whatever they did or planning on being honest on his whereabouts and health. All we want is honest answers. We deserve that much.”

He continued to plead for help in the ensuing days.

A month later, he posted again, asking, “where’s our dog?”

Read more from The Post: