Dear Waters, I understand your concern. This is a troubling and complicated situation. There are two main reasons why your grandson’s personality may have changed. The first is the development of a mental health disorder. If you and I were meeting in a traditional counseling setting, I could gather many more details and offer an opinion about a possible diagnosis. I currently do not have enough information to know what, if any, diagnosis he may have.
The second possibility is that he is using drugs. The use of drugs can drastically alter an individual’s personality and behavior. I would recommend searching the home for drug paraphernalia.
If possible, you should take the deceased dogs to a veterinarian. The veterinarian may be able to determine a cause of death. Knowing the cause of death could help you determine if your grandson is to blame. This would be very important information. In addition, until you can determine the cause of the missing and deceased dogs, you should not bring any more animals into the home. It is not be fair to bring animals into a home where they may be killed.
His behavioral changes are becoming a very serious problem for you and others living in the home. In addition, his lack of compassion for the missing and deceased dogs is very disconcerting. Coupled with his change in personality, these two traits are major red flags. Having him in the home may be dangerous.
As you said in your letter, you cannot force someone to get help if they don’t want it. If your grandson refuses help, then this may require action on your part. You may need to confront your grandson about his behavior but before you do, you may want to consult a therapist. A therapist could help you determine the best way to approach your grandson.
You may also need to contact the local authorities. If your grandson is killing animals in your home, then there is a chance he may kill other animals in the neighborhood. Animal cruelty is a punishable offense. Individuals can and have gone to jail for such a crime. Animal cruelty is also a sign of an individual who is deeply disturbed. I understand that you may not want to call the authorities to report your grandson but it may be the only way to stop his disturbing behavior.
I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.