On Aug. 26, a passerby saw a dog struggling in the water of the Rouge River in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, and called police — and not a moment too soon, as it turned out. The dog had a rock tied to his leg.
“It hurts me,” Gregory Gritu, who lives near the Rouge River, told ABC 7. “It hurts me because I have a Golden Retriever, and I would never think of doing something like that to the dog.”
Police recovered the dog on the muddy riverbank and took him to the Dearborn Animal Shelter, where he is in good health and doing fine. Staff named him River, after her ordeal.
“Of course, initially, he was a little frightened and initially wasn’t responding to staff very well because I think he was very scared,” said shelter spokesperson Sandy Boulton, according to CBS Detroit. “But he has since calmed down and he has been looked after and he is a really nice dog.”
River looks to be a retriever/hound mix and is about 55 pounds, has a healthy appetite, and is friendly with staffers. He’s up for adoption and already receiving applications.
“I can’t imagine why somebody did this to him. And it’s just disheartening that people unfortunately commit acts of cruelty against an animal that’s pretty darn defenseless,” said Boulton.
“Animal cruelty of any kind is deplorable, but this situation seemed vicious in its intent,” said Elaine Greene, executive director of the shelter.
Police are investigating the case, and the Dearborn Animal Shelter has put up a $1,000 reward to help find those responsible. If you have any tips, call the Dearborn Heights Police at 313-277-7408 or visit the shelter’s Facebook page.