JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A case of possible animal neglect was discovered this week by News4Jax at a home in the Ribault neighborhood on Jacksonville's Northside.
The dog in question has been placed into protective custody as investigators work to locate the animal's owner.
News4Jax reporter Erik Avanier was the one who called 911 after it appeared the animal may have been in a bad situation.
On Tuesday evening while covering another story, Avanier noticed the dog tethered by a rusty chain in the yard of a home on Ken Knight Drive.
The dog had visible scars and wounds to its body and appeared to have limited mobility, as the chain only allowed the animal to move a couple of feet.
When Jacksonville sheriff's officers arrived, they looked for the dog's owner, but said the home appeared to be vacant.
After going door-to-door, talking to neighbors, police learned the person who lives at the home had left after the house flooded during Hurricane Irma. Unfortunately, the animal's owner left the dog tethered.
Avanier confirmed the dog did have food, which police said was provided by a neighbor across the street.
On Wednesday afternoon, Avanier learned Animal Control took the dog into protective custody on grounds of alleged animal neglect due to the dog being tethered by a rusty chain.
News4Jax also learned the collar around the dog’s neck was so tight that when officers removed it, fur from around the dog's neck came off with the collar. One officer also noted visible scars on the animal’s body and that the dog was panting heavily for air.
After the animal was removed, a notice was left for the owner, who was nowhere to be found.
This case is still under investigation, so charges against the owner are pending.
It's still unclear if the owner is even aware the dog has been taken into protective custody.