Authorities in South Carolina are searching for a dog's owner after the abandoned animal was found with duct tape wrapped around her mouth and head.
The Darlington County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to an anonymous call Monday morning and found the female dog bound with tape, with her mouth sealed shut.
Deputies caught the dog, safely removed the tape and took her to Darlington County Animal Shelter for treatment.
The sheriff's office asked the public for any information relating to the abused animal, which was found near a residential road in Darlington, about 80 miles from Columbia.
Sheriff's Capt. Chad McInville said soon after he responded to the scene, he found the dog wandering in a field.
"I finally got the dog to come to me," he told The Washington Post, "and I was able to get the duct tape off of her head and her mouth. She was definitely scared. When we were heading back, the latch on the dog catcher's truck came loose and the poor dog got out again.
"She wouldn't come back to anyone else but me."
McInville said the tape was wrapped around the dog's head and mouth five or six times. "She would have died because she couldn't eat," he said Tuesday.
The Darlington County Humane Society said via Facebook that the dog, which has been nicknamed "Aurora," is a sweet and gentle Great Dane mix.
"Aurora was found wandering with her mouth taped SHUT! With tape around her head and mouth, someone let her loose to fend for herself! We are horrified!" the group said. "Please help us help her by giving NOW!
"We do not YET know what all of her medical needs will be but she will have needs."
The group has set up a YouCaring page to raise money for Aurora's medical care.
Susan Blakeney, a Humane Society volunteer, said the dog was taken to a veterinarian Tuesday morning to determine whether she has any injuries.
Last year, a similar case occurred about 150 miles south in Charleston County, South Carolina, where a 15-month-old chocolate Staffordshire bull terrier mix was found with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle.
The dog, named Caitlyn, had to undergo reconstructive surgery because the vice trapped her tongue between her teeth for up to 48 hours, cutting off the blood flow.
North Charleston police later charged William Leonard Dodson, 41, with felony animal torture in that case.
Lindsey Bever is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Lindsey Bever · NATIONAL · Apr 05, 2016 - 10:09 AM