The RSPCA is appealing for information after a dog was found dead in a canal in Mexborough, Doncaster with a block of wood clenched between his teeth.
Juno, a six-year-old male rescue Husky, went missing from his home in Denaby Main at about 7pm on Monday (16 November) after a gate was accidently left off the latch by a visitor.
The owner’s other dog, another Husky called ‘Rolo’, got out at the same time but came back on his own at around 10.30pm. Despite search efforts going on into the early hours and the following day, Juno couldn’t be found.
He was spotted by a man walking his dog in the canal behind Pastures Lodge on Pastures Road at around 7am on Tuesday morning (17 November).
RSPCA inspector Sandra Dransfield said: “We got a call from a local vets on Tuesday morning. A dog walker and another man had pulled Juno’s body out of the water and taken him there.
“I had to go and tell the family, which was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do. This was a much-loved family pet and they are of course, extremely distressed, and their other dog, who I’m told was inseparable from Juno, is very subdued.”
Juno had a block of wood, approximately 4 or 5 inches long, between his teeth, which he had bitten down on with force. “He was definitely alive when the wood went into his mouth, but how that came to happen, and how he ended up in the canal, is impossible to say at the moment,” said inspector Dransfield. “I’m afraid, at this time, we can’t discount the fact that this may have been the result of a deliberate act of cruelty.”
Juno had no medical problems and was a reasonable weight, and aside from the piece of wood in his mouth and resulting injuries, there was no sign of obvious trauma.
“Juno weighed around 30 kilos, so was a pretty big dog, as Huskies are. There is road access on both sides of the part of the canal where Juno was found, though of course we don’t know for sure that is where he went into the water. The location is probably about half a mile from where he lived, as the crow flies” said inspector Dransfield.
Anyone who saw anything they think might help our investigation should call the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for inspector Dransfield.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).