DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WWJ) – A $6,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the conviction of whoever tried to drown a dog in the Rouge River.

Dearborn Heights police say they received a call around 9:50 p.m. on Aug. 26 from a passerby who noticed a dog with a brick tied to his leg in the water of the Rouge River near the bridge at Warren Road and Outer Drive.

Officers responded to the scene and rescued the dog, nicknamed “River,” who was muddy but without visible injuries.

“This type of act demonstrates a deliberate and methodical cruelty that is chilling,” Elaine Greene, director of the Dearborn Animal Shelter, said in a statement. “The person responsible for doing such a thing to a gentle, defenseless dog should be considered dangerous.”

The reddish-brown and white Labrador retriever-mix, who appears to be about 2-years-old, was taken to the Dearborn Animal Shelter for veterinary care. Shelter spokesperson Sandy Boulton said River will eventually go up for adoption.

“Of course, initially, he was a little frightened and initially wasn’t responding to staff very well because I think he was very scared. But he has since calmed down and he has been looked after and he is a really nice dog,” Boulton said.

Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for the Humane Society of the United States, called the incident a serious crime, saying she’s glad police are investigating.

“We hope that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about who may have deliberately left this sweet dog to drown,” Fritz said in a statement.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000, in addition to a $1,000 reward offered by the Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Dearborn Heights police at 313-277-7408.


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