Animal Services officials in San Luis Obispo County say they have identified the owner of a dog found with duct tape on its face earlier this week in rural Paso Robles.
A woman who lives on Loma Lane called authorities around 9 p.m. Monday to report finding the young, black Labrador Retriever in her yard.
She says the dog's snout was taped closed and there was tape above its eyes, around its ears and a dead bird was attached to the tape.
Animal Services Manager Dr. Eric Anderson says it appears the owner was frustrated with the dog for killing some livestock and the tape was used as a form of disciplinary action.
"We have seized the dog as part of the animal welfare investigation and so whenever we do that the disposition of the dog remains sort of open for at least a couple of weeks. There's an administrative process and some evaluation we have to go through before we can determine whether or not the dog can be returned to the owner, or whether or not we can seize it and keep it and place it into a new home," said Dr. Anderson, San Luis Obispo County Animal Services manager.
Anderson says it doesn't appear the owner was trying to injure or torture the dog, but adds that the investigation is ongoing to determine what, if any, charges will be filed in the case.
If the dog hadn't been found, the duct tape around it's mouth could've led the lab to overheat or be attacked by another animal, according to Anderson.
The dog is in good condition and will remain in the care of Animal Services for at least a few weeks. It is not yet known if it will be returned to the owner.