A dog was rescued by park rangers in Missouri after they found him chained to a cinder block and left to die near a lake.
The animal was found on April 28. He was covered in mud and fearful of anyone who approached him. The Great Plains Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) wrote on Facebook that he would have drowned if they hadn't discovered him.
"He was found chained to a cinder block near Longview Lake on Friday morning, covered in mud, presumably left to die in high water levels," they wrote.
"There is no doubt this was intentional," Animal Control Officer and Great Plains SPCA employee Tonya Hampton told WDAF.
Before Hampton arrived on the scene, park rangers managed to pull the lab/shepherd mix out of the lake after tying a leash through the cinder block, according to People.
He has since been named Deputy, and is now recovering at an SPCA shelter. Officials believe him to be between 5 and 7 years old.
Hampton described the rescue scene to People.
"Deputy was scared at first and hesitant to trust us, so it was difficult to get him freed from his cinderblock prison," she explained.
"When I arrived, I was able to gain his trust by offering treats and was able to free him from the cinderblock and he walked into a kennel without hesitation," she continued. "Once at the shelter he was still a little reserved. However, after a few minutes he [lit] up as if he knew he was safe. We gave him a bath since he was so very muddy, and he seemed to appreciate our efforts."
The goal now, Hampton said, is to make sure Deputy receives the care and love that he needs going forward.
"Our hope is that he finally knows what true love and safety really means, as he has been through so much already," she told People via email. "I wish people were more like these dogs, so forgiving and loving. Mankind would be much better off."
On May 1, the Great Plains SPCA uploaded an image of Deputy looking clean and happy to its Twitter page.
"After all that, that good boy is smiling," one user commented. "Hope he gets the best life ever."
Meanwhile another user asked: "Can we find out who tied up this handsome guy and tie them up in the same fashion?"
Jackson County Animal Control is asking for the public's help in identifying the person or people responsible for tying Deputy to the cinder block.