A horrific case of animal abuse, in which a dog was allegedly found with her muzzle taped shut and her throat slit, was made up in order to get free veterinary care, authorities in Ohio now say.
"Upon interviewing the owner, it was relayed to our detectives that the canine had cut its throat on a barbed wire fence and they could not afford the veterinarian bills, so they concocted a story to get the canine help for free," Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said in a statement.
The alleged owner originally claimed they were going for a stroll in Madison Township on Aug. 17 when they found a dog whose muzzle had been "duct taped shut and her throat cut,” according to a statement from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
The dog was rushed to a veterinarian by the owner, who claimed to not know the dog, while the sheriff’s office issued a strong warning towards whoever was behind the animal cruelty.
“This is appalling, words cannot describe the disgust I’m feeling right now, we will work diligently to find who did this and seek justice,” Jones said on Friday.
“We will not tolerate these actions,” he added in a tweet. “Period. [N]ot now or ever.”
The most recent press release states that a vet determined the neck injury wasn’t intentional.
Investigators believe the owner made up the part about the muzzle being taped up too.
"The snout/mouth area that appeared to be injured was due to the owners keeping the canine muzzled for several hours a day due to it chewing up items in their residence and being aggressive towards their other canine,” authorities said.
Investigators posted an update on the dog’s condition Saturday, stating that she is recovering and “doing well.”
It’s not clear if the owner will face any legal consequences related to the episode.
"After the investigation was completed it was determined that this incident did not occur in Butler County, but we will make a joint effort to work with the adjacent jurisdiction to ensure this case is dealt with appropriately," Jones said Monday on Twitter.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.