Los Angeles County officials are investigating the death of a dog found tied to a shovel stuck in the sand at a local beach.
The mixed-breed likely drowned while the tide rose over the animal’s head, authorities told the Los Angeles Times. Both the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Animal Care and Control are investigating the incident.
Six people out canoeing found the dog’s body near Mother's Beach in Marina Del Ray Wednesday morning, after noticing that the shovel handle was jutting out of the water, according to Fox 11. One of the paddlers waded out about 15 feet to the handle and found the canine. That person and another member of the group, Malia Zimmerman, moved the body out of the water and called law enforcement.
Zimmerman also posted a photo of the scene on Facebook, asking the public for help figuring out what happened.
Warning: The photo below may be disturbing to some readers.
David Carpenter, one of the people in the canoeing group, believes it’s obvious that the dog was drowned. While he said it’s possible that it died before entering the water and was later tied to the shovel, that explanation “does make much sense.”
“It's more likely someone stuck the shovel [through] the collar,” he told Fox 11. “The head was near the spade of the shovel. It's a plastic spade with a plastic handle. It's a children's shovel and they had to hold it in place while the animal drowned and when it succumbed... left it there and walked away.”
The dog was wearing an ID tag reading "Dog License Animal Services 1476765."
Anyone with information should call the LA Sheriff’s Department at (310) 582-6000.