According to the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, a South Carolina teenager preparing for a night of angling on a local bridge was alarmed when she heard a dog struggling to get out of the water below her. When she approached the dog she said it was apparent that someone had tried to kill it.
Update (7/18/12): The Sheriff’s Office announced today that 47-year-old Bobby Joe McConnell has been arrested and charged with the killing of two dogs, and the attempted killing of Dara. Shortly after she was rescued, the bodies of two other dogs were found nearby. Both had been bound in a similar manner.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Cuthbertson said McConnell had indicated a desire to kill the dogs before doing so.
“Investigators began looking into McConnell for being responsible for the deaths and attempted death after witnesses told investigators he made statements to them about how he was going to dispose of the dogs,” Cuthbertson said.
McConnell is facing up to 15 years in prison.
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Sixteen-year-old Ambria Grooms went fishing with her cousin Monday and found the black lab in the water with duct tape around its front and back legs and muzzle. She said it was “flopping around” in the water in a frantic effort to breathe. They called for help while trying to reach the dog, and firemen arrived shortly thereafter.
The Georgetown fire department used a ladder submerged in the water to approach the dog, but it struggled and floated away from them under the bridge. Fearing that it would submerge and drown, they pulled the ladder and ran after the dog.
Rushing to the other side of the bridge, firemen were able to secure the frightened canine. Once on land, they cut the tape she was bound in. The dog was sent to a nearby shelter for treatment.
Police are processing the duct tape for fingerprints, and ask that anyone with knowledge of the incident call the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office at 843-546-5102.