The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the death of a 5-year-old pit bull that was allegedly physically and sexually assaulted, a department spokesperson confirms to PEOPLE.
The pit bull was found badly battered in front of a house in South Los Angels.
According to Ghetto Rescue, a police-founded group based in Anaheim, California, the dog’s aorta had been ruptured and there were signs of vaginal trauma.
“We know based on her sad demeanor she was mistreated in the short time she was out of the shelter,” the group, who gave the dog the name Cargo as in previous Crago, wrote on Facebook.
“The only thing we can be thankful for is she did not die on the sidewalk alone.”
The LAPD’s Animal Cruelty Task Force is investigating the allegations and has served a search warrant in the case, reports the Orange County Register.
“There are two possible crimes, bestiality which is a misdemeanor, and intentional injury to the dog that was meant to inflict pain, suffering or death to the dog,” LAPD Det. Al Erkelens told the paper. “If [someone] did something to cause the aorta to rupture, that is a felony.”
Erkelens said his unit responds to about 10 cases of bestiality a year.
“Sexual assaults with dogs does occur,” he told the Register. “Most cases are reported either because they are seen or someone tells someone about it.”
A South Los Angeles resident told KTLA that two men dropped off the dog in the neighborhood. The resident said she tried to contact city and county animal control officials but no one responded so she contacted Ghetto Rescue.