UPDATE: Bucks County SPCA reports that Brooke has gained three pounds and is enjoying walks with volunteers and curling up with her warm blanket.
Police are looking for the person responsible for tying an aged black Lab to a rock in a Bucks County creek, leaving her to die in rising waters.
The dog, who has been named Brooke, was emaciated and suffering from untreated tumors. She is now recovering at the Bucks County SPCA. Her rescuer is being hailed as a hero.
My Inquirer colleague Mari Schaefer spoke to the local man who saved her. Here's what she wrote in today's paper:
Wyatt Erb first spotted the dog late Saturday afternoon while on a walk with his wife Diana on Inner Road in Bristol Township. The dog appeared to be calmly laying by the edge of Neshaminy Creek, staring across the water as if lost in thought.
But, when the couple passed again, the dog still hadn't budged. Water had now started to lap up against the canine.
The dog wore a collar but no owner was in sight. Wyatt Erb clapped his hands to get her attention but the dog didn't move. Then she turned her head toward Erb.
"As soon as I looked at her, there was that look in her eye of 'please help me,'" Erb said. He jumped down the six-foot embankment and into the shin-deep muck.
Diana Erb went home to get a dog leash - the couple has a Jack Russell terrier and a cat - and call Animal Control for help.
The dog's eye was a "pocket of pus," Wyatt Erb said. As he got closer he could see "every bone" in her body and a large growth on her back foot. He reached down and picked up the dog but was pulled back.
A leash, which had been pushed into the soft river bottom and was tied to a large rock, restrained him. There was no way the dog could have tied the leash around the rock, Wyatt Erb said, believing it was done deliberately.
"Basically when the tide came in the poor dog would have drowned," he said.
The couple was able to push the dog up over the embankment. They gave her water and waited for animal control.
"She is a sweetie - a great disposition, Wyatt Erb said. I didn't understand how someone could do that."
"They deserve a lot of credit," said Tom Morris, Bristol Township Animal Control Officer. By the time he arrived on scene, the rock was already submerged, he said.
Brooke , who vets believe is between eight and 11 years old, was clearly neglected for a long time, SPCA director Anne Irwin told Philly Dawg. She is suffering from long term ear and eye infections, a grapefruit size tumor on her hind foot and was terribly underweight.
She said Brooke has been exhibiting positive signs: tail wagging, giving kisses and is "eating with gusto."
"Those are positive sign for a dog who had not lost love of life," she told my colleague.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is offering up to $2,500 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Bucks County SPCA Humane Officers at 215-794-7425. For updates on Brooke check in with the Bucks County SPCA Facebook page.