Authorities: Puppy found dead in weighted cage submerged in pond

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Authorities say a 10-week-old puppy was found dead in a submerged and weighted cage in a Passaic County pond.

The dog was found Tuesday in Greenwood Pond in West Milford. It's not clear how long the animal had been in the water before it was discovered.

Volunteers with Last Resort Animal Rescue have named the dog Jenny. The group believes that the animal was intentionally thrown in the water to drown.

"I thought to myself how could someone do this? There are so many other options. You could have just left it here in a crate alive, not killed it. Why did you have to kill it? It was just disgusting,” says volunteer Michelle Vanderploeg.

An autopsy will be performed to determine how and when the dog died. Authorities say the animal's breed remains under investigation, but it is believed to have been a 10-week-old golden retriever or yellow Lab.

Township police and the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office are leading the investigation. They say there currently are no leads or suspects. Authorities say that they are hoping members of the public can come forward with information.

“We are asking the public to bring awareness and hopefully promote change that there are better laws in place to punish things like this,” says Last Resort founder Nancy Warner. "We don't want it to happen again and we want to make sure the person that’s responsible is brought to justice."

A $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the dog's death is being offered.

Anyone who may have information should contact the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office at 1-877-370-PCPO or West Milford Detective Eric Darnsteadt at 973-728-2801.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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