Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Duluth Police continue their investigation into how a dog ended up in a Duluth firefighter's backyard with its front paws bound by a zip tie. Duluth police say she is in good condition and will remain in their care until the investigation is complete.
24-year-old Zach Drews moved to his Gary–New Duluth home with his girlfriend Jen Miller and months–old husky puppy Blaze after getting a job with the Duluth Fire Department.
On Monday morning, when Miller let Blaze out for the morning routine, he noticed the pup was acting strange.
When he heard Blaze barking, and making a fuss, he came outside and saw that there was another dog lying underneath a tree in Drews' backyard, "just the one closest to the garage," he added, pointing to the tree. "The dog was just... laying down right on the tree."
Initially, Drews thought little of it. The neighborhood has its share of friendly dogs. But after an hour "I'd seen that it hadn't moved," said Drews, "and I figured that's not really normal for any dog."
Drews called her over, and she hobbled toward him.
"The dog was very friendly," he said, recalling the experience.
That's when he noticed a zip tie, pulled tightly around the dog's front paws. He immediately called Animal Control.
After Drews fed her and wrapped her in a blanket to stay warm, Duluth Animal Control picked her up and brought her to their shelter, where they soaked her feet in an antibacterial fluid."
"I don't know what kind of person would even do that to an animal," said Drews, after shelter crews took the dog to recoup.
While just her front paws were bound, Drews says he also thinks her back paws may have been bound in some fashion before making it to his house.
He also suspects a dark motive behind the action.
"I don't know if she had followed the railroad tracks, or maybe she was placed on the railroad tracks," said Drews. "They're very close to my house."
As for the now–lucky dog, authorities say she's in stable condition, walking around, and wagging her tail.
A woman identifying herself as the owner says the dog's name is Molly, and that she's four years old.
While she wouldn't go into detail, she says she noticed Molly missing three days ago.
Police say the dog will remain with Duluth Animal Control for now.