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RCMP, BC SPCA investigating after dead dog found tied to anchor in Shuswap Lake

Warning: This story contains disturbing details. Discretion is advised.

The BC RCMP and BC SPCA are investigating an act of animal cruelty after a large-breed dog appears to have been intentionally drowned in Shuswap Lake.

Sicamous RCMP said it responded to reports of a dead dog found in the lake approximately one kilometre west of the Bruhn Bridge on July 1.

“The odd and disturbing details about this is that the animal had two lines attached to it. One line was attached to the collar of the animal and a second line was attached to a pole on shore,” said Sgt. Murray McNeil.

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The dog was tied to an anchoring device. RCMP said it was a disturbing discovery as it appears the animal was intentionally made to suffer by drowning.

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“The animal was in fairly deep water where it couldn’t touch the bottom and couldn’t reach shore and it looks like somebody went through some effort and some organization to drown this animal,” McNeil said.

RCMP said investigators don’t know for sure that the animal was alive when it was placed in the water, but that’s the likely scenario.

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, the Sicamous RCMP responded to a report of animal cruelty where a dead dog was reported found in Shuswap Lake west of the Bruhn Bridge.

Megan Turcato/Global News

“In my mind, this is an overt act of animal cruelty,” McNeil said.

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“It is quite disturbing and, frankly, disgusting to see.”

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The BC SPCA said it received reports of a deceased dog floating on the west shore of Shuswap Lake days prior, on June 25.

The animal protection agency requested assistance from the RCMP, the BC Conservation Officer Service and Search and Rescue, but nobody was readily available.

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The dog’s remains were later recovered by police.

“The body is currently at a vet in Salmon Arm. There was no identification, no tattoo, no microchip,” said Eileen Drever, senior officer of protection with the BC SPCA.

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“The body is badly decomposed. As a result, we cannot determine the breed or the colour.”

Drever said more evidence needs to be gathered before it can be determined that this was a definitive act of cruelty.

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“It is too early to say if it is, indeed, a deliberate act but it is certainly suspect,” she told Global News.

“We are waiting to hear back from the provincial lab to find out if they can perform a necropsy. I’m not sure if the body is too far gone.”

The BC SPCA is requesting the public’s assistance in this investigation.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact the call centre at 1.855.622.7722.

RCMP said no suspects or the dog’s owner have been identified. The Sicamous RCMP can be reached at 250-836-2878.

“I have been a police officer in the province for 21 years and I’ve never seen anything like that,” McNeil said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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