This story was updated at 9 p.m.
RYE, N.Y. – The Leonberger dog found dead along the shore in Rye Wednesday night was not drowned, as the SPCA of Westchester suspected he may have been, according to the owner and their veterinarian.
Carol J. Lockhart, of the Community Veterinary Hospital in Mamaroneck, said she humanely euthanized the nine-year-old dog Aug. 18. The family then buried him at sea, which is why he turned up on the shore near American Yacht Club in Rye.
The dog was found with nylon cord wrapped around its body and something that the SPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Unit suspected could have been used a weight to keep the dog submerged.
“He didn’t drown. He was humanely euthanized. They may have been just to keep the body down," Lockhart said of the cord and weight wrapped around the dog's body.
Both Lockhart and the owner, who chose not to be named, said the pet suffered from bone cancer in the right rear leg and had been in a lot pain.
“There really isn’t much of a treatment for that just because sometimes it’s very painful,” Lockhart said.
Amputation is an option to alleviate the pain, but Lockhart, who has practiced for 31 years, said the dog’s 153-pound frame would have made it difficult for him to live comfortably.
“He could hardly walk on four legs,” she said. “With an amputation there was no way he could’ve gotten around. So what we opted to do was to keep him alive on pain medication as long as that’s feasible.”
The dog had a microchip, which led the SPCA investigators to Lockhart’s office. There, she identified him and confirmed he had been euthanized.
After he was euthanized, Lockhart said she released the dog’s remains to the family, who said they wanted to bury him.