A young Pomeranian mix was put to sleep after being found in a Michigan garbage can, where he was left to freeze to death.
An unidentified individual saw the dog in the garbage can on Nov. 30 and called the Michigan Humane Society's Rescue Department, the Detroit Free Press reports.
After the freezing dog was wrapped in a blanket, he was rushed to an animal hospital -- but could not be saved.
"In spite of the veterinary team's best efforts to help the dog recover, his suffering was too great," the Michigan Humane Society said, according to Michigan Live. "The heartbreaking decision was made to end his suffering, and he was humanely euthanized."
The organization is offering a $2,500 reward for any information that can help to find, arrest and convict the individual responsible.
“It was obvious that someone put the dog in the trash can; there is no way he got in there by himself,” said Debby MacDonald, Chief Cruelty Investigator for the Michigan Humane Society. “It’s unacceptable, and it needs to be unacceptable to us as a community ... While we are devastated by this tragedy, we need to make sure the person who is responsible for this is brought to justice.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that every year, the nation's 13,600 animal shelters take in approximately 3.9 million dogs. Nearly one-third of those dogs are euthanized.
The Last Chance Sanctuary, a Florida non-profit dedicated to helping homeless animals find homes, says of people who intentionally abuse animals: "These are people who intentionally hurt animals because they enjoy hurting things, or because it makes them feel powerful. Many of these people would hurt other people if they could get away with it. They just choose to hurt animals because animals are more helpless than people."
Indeed, research shows those who abuse their pets also tend to hurt humans as well, according to The Humane Society.