(FOX 11) - Los Angeles County Animal Control is investigating the death of a dog that appears to have been tied to a shovel, deliberately held underwater, and drowned off Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey.
From Hal Eisner:
Animal Cruelty? A first-hand account
FROM THE TWO WHO FIRST SAW IT: David Carpenter, Malia Zimmerman and others practice outrigger paddling every Wednesday morning. They start around 6am. It's still dark, but as the sun came up Wednesday morning those two and other team members saw something they'll likely never forget.
Carpenter told the others it was a dog that appeared to have been drowned lodged onto the sandy by a kids plastic shovel. Carpenter told FOX "That act of cruelty is unfathomable. That somebody could actually do that."
He shook his head. Malia Zimmerman is a colleague. She works at FOXNews.com. She documented what they saw. She took pictures and called authorities. She posted online not realizing the pictures and story would go viral. So much anger. I got jaw dropping reactions as I showed the picture to beachgoers. One, upon seeing the pic, saying "Oh oy!" others saying things like, "my god." Lorna Ranage from Tennessee was stunned. She said, "That's awful. That's one of the saddest things I've ever seen."
Animal Control and the Sheriffs Department were not particularly helpful in providing information about their investigation. Animal Control said, thanks to Zimmerman's cell phone pics, they were able to get the registered ID number and thought they could track down the owner. A LA County Sheriffs Department official told us they didn't have someone to make a statement. But, FOXNews.com investigative reporter Zimmerman, told us she "got a call late last (Thursday) night (from Animal Control) saying, they are investigating. It's a criminal act. They believe they know who the dog belongs to. They're trying to track them down. (However,) I have no judgement whether the person who owns the dog is actually responsible. It could be an act of retaliation which seems much more likely to me.
To David Carpenter, what's clear is that "this is an obvious act of animal cruelty. They obviously killed this animal. Says Carpenter, "Either the dog was already dead and was placed there which doesn't make much sense to me. It's more likely someone stuck the shovel thru the collar. The head was near the spade of the shovel. It's a plastic spade with a plastic handle. It's a children's shovel and they had to hold it in place while the animal drowned and when it succumbed... left it there and walked away.
The investigation continues.
Malia Zimmerman and five other people were returning to shore after an early morning canoe practice Wednesday when they spotted the shovel sticking out of the water about 15 feet from shore.
Zimmerman tells FOX 11 News that one of the other canoers waded into the water and discovered the dog. The two of them then moved the shovel and dog onto the beach and called the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and Animal Control.
Zimmerman took a photo of the dog on the beach, and of an ID tag, and posted them on her Facebook page in hopes of helping the investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff's Department at (310) 582-6000.