Anne Arundel police believe that a bloody belt discovered yesterday morning in a Millersville parking lot had been used a short time earlier to seriously wound a dog found nearby with its throat slashed.
The animal, a young, yellow Labrador retriever-German shepherd mix, has been given a good chance of survival, said police spokesman Sgt. Shawn Urbas. The dog, which was not wearing identification, is being treated at a local veterinary hospital.
Police began investigating around 9 a.m., when an employee of the Baldwin Methodist Education Center on Generals Highway called 911 to report that a brown leather strap was found near the front steps of the church.
Police initially believed they were dealing with a violent crime toward a person, said Urbas. County officers and a Maryland State Police canine patrol scoured the area, following a "heavy blood trail" that led from the school lot, across a field and into a nearby subdivision.
The search team found no victims but was notified by county animal control that officers had picked up a seriously wounded dog nearby that was cowering on a porch in the 700 block of Mattawa Court.
Urbas said anyone responsible will face felony animal cruelty charges, which carry a maximum penalty of three years in jail, a $5,000 fine or both. As of late yesterday, police had no suspects.