JUPITER, Fla. - Taylor Aguirre and some friends took a boat Wednesday hoping to catch some fish, but instead found something else floating offshore.
"It looked like a manatee or a drum or something," Aguirre said.
Once they got up to the floating animal they noticed it was a dog and its back legs were tied.
"It was kind of crazy that someone could tie their dog up like that and get rid of it in the ocean," he said.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said the dog is an Akita.
Capt. Dave Walesky said the agency is investigating to determine if the dog was dead before it was thrown in the water.
"The veterinarian will look at this through a necropsy and make sure that there is no water in the lungs and that the animal drowned," Capt. Walesky said.
If it did drown, Capt. Walesky said cruelty charges could be filed against the owner if they're able to track them down.
However, Capt. Walesky said someone may have just tried to bury the dog at sea.
"I own a boat so I understand you have dogs and dogs love the ocean and sometimes people think that's where they should go," Capt. Walesky said. "But the best thing to do is not to put them back in the environment in that manner."
The reason is because more times than not they end up floating on the water or washing ashore like this dog did Wednesday.
"I don't understand how someone could do something like that," Aguirre said. "It's a helpless dog and they tie it up and just throw it over and just leave it. Even if the dog was dead that's horrible."
Investigators said the dog did have a microchip in it.
The chip led them back to an out of business breeder, who is trying to track down who they may have sold the dog to.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said that the necropsy should be completed in a few days and should determine how the dog died.