Animal lovers in Viana do Castelo hope to discover who owned the three-year-old bitch, found drowned and decomposing beside the sea near Carreço this week.
The little animal had a length of electric wire around her neck, and was close to stones.
“I think she was tied to a stone at low tide,” said the woman who found her. “She would have died as the waters rose.”
Shocked by what she had found, Elisabete Machado got in touch with “A Selva dos Animais Domésticos” animal rights group, and this has now recovered the animal’s carcass and had it frozen.
The idea is to discover anything that could lead to the elaboration of a criminal prosecution – a microchip, for instance, which could reveal the animal’s original owners.
Accepting that a microchip may not be found, the animal champions have nonetheless filed a complaint against persons unknown with the GNR.
“We do not think this was an accident,” said the association’s vice-president Karine Torres. “People left the animal there because they wanted to get rid of her.”
“We have seen many horrible things in the past: animals buried alive, for example. But this is the first time we have seen them left to die in the sea.”