Authorities are investigating an apparent animal cruelty case following a disturbing discovery in Kandiyohi County this week: a dead dog "tied to a boat anchor" in a lake.
The animal was found Tuesday morning by a local deputy investigating a call about a "deceased canine" in Point Lake, according to a news release from the Kandiyohi County sheriff.
The lake is near the city of Willmar.
It took a boat to reach the dog, which was floating 200 feet off the lake's north shore in about six feet of water.
There are some early challenges in the investigation, including the lack of a "pet microchip," which would contain contact information about the animal's owners, according to the sheriff's office.
The dog didn't have one, the release says, but authorities have identified it as a "mostly white" female Springer Spaniel with some black coloring. She's estimated to have been about 5 years old.
Anyone with information about the apparent drowning is asked to contact the Kandiyohi County sheriff at 320-214-6700.
Animal Cruelty in the U.S.
The available statistics on animal cruelty are "just the tip of the iceberg," according to the Humane Society of the United States, because most cases go unreported.
But the information we do have says a majority of the reports – more than 70 percent – involve dogs, according to the society.
Their data also suggests a correlation between animal cruelty and domestic abuse.
Under Minnesota law, most animal cruelty offenses are considered misdemeanors, which could mean jail time for anyone found guilty.