MARINA DEL REY (CBSLA.com) — Authorities are hoping to find an animal-cruelty suspect who intentionally drowned a puppy at Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey.

The terrier-mix puppy was found about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday with a rope and shovel tied to its neck, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Slutske of the Marina del Rey Station.

A group of early morning paddlers said they noticed a blue-handled shovel sticking out of the water, according to the Los Angeles Times.

When they got closer to the shovel, they were shocked to find the animal tied to it, the newspaper reported. A black rope had been wrapped around the dog’s neck, and the lower portion of the partially submerged shovel.

The dog likely drowned as the tide came in, Slutske said.

He added that the animal had an identification tag.

One of the paddlers posted the graphic photo of the dead dog to her Facebook page. The photo sparked outrage from animal lovers demanding law enforcement find the person responsible.

“Sometimes, people can be extraordinarily cruel,” the post said. “We already reported this act of animal cruelty, but it would be great to catch the puppy killer.”

Slutske said the owner has not been located.

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control is also investigating.

Anyone with information about the dog or incident is asked to call  the Sheriff’s Department at (310) 482-6000.

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