Dog tied to cinder block found in water in Bluffton - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Dog tied to cinder block found in water in Bluffton

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A shocking discovery was made in the Lowcountry on Friday when a dog tied to a cinderblock was discovered in the water off Alljoy Boat Landing in Bluffton.

Animal control got a call about the dog on Friday morning, and with the help of two boaters, they were able to recover the dog and start looking into exactly what happened.

As the investigation continues to unfold, what some thought might be a case of animal cruelty may be something else entirely.

"Everyone's trying to wrap their mind around it," said boater Les Rivers. "How could you treat an animal that way."

Rivers and his son, Ben, were launching their boat when animal control approached them to help recover the dog from the water.

"You could barely see him floating out of the water," said Rivers. "Tied front legs, back legs with a cinderblock tied to him."

A paddleboarder first noticed the animal just below the surface between the landing and Potato Island, and called it into animal control. Rivers and his son were able to recover the lifeless dog and bring him back to the island. They were still shocked at what they just found.

"This is America," said Rivers. "There are plenty of places. I volunteer at some shelters in Jasper County. They would have been glad to take the dog."

Animal control took the dog to a vet for an autopsy and the case was turned over to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office for investigation.

Ben Rivers loves animals so much, he's taken in a raccoon. He couldn't imagine who would do this.

"I was very angry," he said. "I love animals, and I don't feel like they should be treated cruelly. There's no way they can do anything wrong."

While this may appear to be a case of animal cruelty, preliminary results showed the dog was actually dead before it was put in the water, and probably died from natural causes.

However, just the sight of the dog has animal lovers demanding answers.

"It made me mad," said Ben Rivers. "It still makes me mad."

This case is still under investigation, but the sheriff's office said it is very possible the owner was trying to give a beloved pet a burial at sea, and this may not be an animal cruelty after all.

The sheriff's office believes the dog does have a microchip and they are working to make contact with the pet's owners to get more information.

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