CANADA -- A horrifying discovery near Thamesford has police and animal advocates looking for clues as to how a dog ended up abandoned beside a creek to die.
An animal rescue organization based in Kintore, Ontario posted a public appeal on Facebook Tuesday evening after the operator said she found a female Staffordshire Terrier – often known as a pit bull – dead in a cage.
“This dog was left to freeze to death, and is dead. It is frozen solid,” Kimberly Thomas wrote on social media . “Her lips are frozen so it was difficult for me to see her teeth, but she does not look that old from what I can see.”
Thomas said she expects the necropsy to be conducted Thursday, after the dog’s body has had time to thaw. She declined to comment on any aspect of the situation until after the necropsy results.
Const. Stacey Culbert confirmed that Oxford OPP is investigating.
“The OPP has been made aware of it and was called to it,” she said. The dog was found on the east side of the 15th Line, south of Road 64, near an isolated waterway surrounded by trees.
Police are trying to piece together evidence to determine details like how long the dog may have been there before she was found.
“It’s still early in the investigation, and those are the kind of things where we will get all the information as it comes and see where the investigation takes us from there,” said Culbert. “We don’t want to speculate. That’s what happens with social media, there’s lots of speculation.”
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) was contacted by Thomas and the OPP, and senior communications manager Melissa Kosowan confirmed that the organization is following up and gathering information.
According to Thomas’ Facebook post, it took three people to carry the cage up a steep embankment. She estimated that the dog was between 55 and 65 pounds and noted that she had had puppies.
“She is wearing a very heavy prong collar. There is a blanket in the crate with her,” Thomas wrote. The blanket was a red and white floral pattern.
She appealed to the public for information, captioning the post, “an unbelievable act of animal cruelty.” The message had been shared more than 10,000 times within the first 24 hours of posting.
Social media users and dog lovers alike were appalled by the photos of the dog, with many posting that they were sick, devastated and disgusted.
It’s an unusual and thankfully, uncommon, case for local police investigators.
“We don’t have a lot of animal cruelty cases, nor one to this extreme where the animal is deceased,” Culbert said. “It’s obviously something concerning, and something we’re taking very seriously.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the Oxford OPP at 519-485-6554 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. The public is also encouraged to report any animals in distress to 310-SPCA.
(Canoe - Dec 29, 2016)