A dog which escaped from home and was found dead in a canal may have been abused, according to the RSPCA.
The animal charity said it is unable to rule out ‘cruelty’ as the possible cause of the Husky’s death.
Juno, who was six years old and a rescue dog, was found dead in a canal in Mexborough, with a block of wood clenched between his teeth.
He went missing from his home in Denaby Main at around 7pm on Monday, November 16 after a gate was accidently left off the latch by a visitor.
The owner’s other dog, another Husky called Rolo, got out at the same time but returned at 10.30pm that night.
Juno’s body was discovered in the canal behind Pastures Lodge on Pastures Road at around 7am the following morning.
RSPCA inspector Sandra Dransfield said: “We got a call from a local vets on Tuesday morning.
“A dog walker and another man had pulled Juno’s body out of the water and taken him there.
“I had to go and tell the family, which was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do. This was a much-loved family pet and they are of course, extremely distressed, and their other dog, who I’m told was inseparable from Juno, is very subdued.”
Juno had a block of wood, around five inches long, between his teeth, which he had bitten down on with force.
“He was definitely alive when the wood went into his mouth, but how that came to happen, and how he ended up in the canal, is impossible to say at the moment,” said Inspector Dransfield.
“I’m afraid, at this time, we can’t discount the fact that this may have been the result of a deliberate act of cruelty.”
Anyone with information should call Inspector Dransfield on 0300 123 8018.