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Finding the owner of ‘River’

Police continue their search for the owner of a dog left abandoned next to the Erie Canal in Rome.

Posted: Aug. 9, 2018 6:11 PM
Updated: Aug. 9, 2018 6:22 PM

A dog, now being called "River," was left abandoned next to the Erie Canal in Rome. Police are asking the public’s help in trying to find the owner of the dog. SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator William Pulaski says there’s one detail about this case that has police concerned.

"It’s definitely remote. Somebody went out of their way to come down here to do this. At this point we’re looking at it as intentional that somebody abandoned a dog, and intentional where they placed the dog. It didn’t arrive here on accident."

Dee Schaefer works in Humane Education for the SPCA. She says there’s an even bigger reason for finding the owner, and it’s potentially dangerous.

"The link. The link is there. 85% of people of people who do violent crimes have started out hurting an animal."

RELATED: SPCA looking for info on dog found tied up in Rome canal

Animal Control Officer Kimberly Vaughn tells us there are other possibilities for the dog being tied up along the water, and although nobody’s looking yet, they’re not ruling out a drowning.

"Those types of things are always in the back of your mind. We kept the dog in our facility for the required hold. We were hoping that someone knew something, or maybe something accidental happened, and the dog got away from somebody, or you know there’s always people stealing each other’s dogs and etc., we haven’t heard a thing."

Right now River is doing well and showing no signs of having been hurt, beaten, or underfed. Anyone with any information that could help find the owner of the dog is asked to call the SPCA in Syracuse.

The SPCA’s already received a number of phone calls from people wishing to adopt River, but that may take months before the case is resolved in court.

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