Calgary police are investigating a case of animal cruelty after a dog was found by his owner hogtied and with a belt wrapped around his muzzle in an alleyway, weeks after a cat and dog were found dead in a south Calgary neighbourhood.

Cameron Edmonds says when he checked on his dogs in his backyard on Friday, one of them, Radar, wasn’t there.

“As soon I realize he wasn’t coming when I was calling him, I realized something was wrong,” he told CTV Calgary.

When Edmonds ventured to the side of his house, he realized someone had entered his backyard through a gated fence. Edmonds says whoever took Radar had to go to great lengths to open the gate, as a build-up of ice and snow had made it difficult to enter the backyard that way.

Edmonds spent an hour and half canvassing his neighbourhoold looking for Radar. He eventually made his way down one alleyway and found the dog.

“He wasn’t moving at all. I immediately thought the worst,” Edmonds said, often overcome by emotion. “And when I got up to him, he had a black leather belt wrapped around his nose. And he was hogtied with a yellow rope. So I took the belt off, and he started to realize I was there and he started struggling and crying.”

Edmonds says each time he put Radar on his feet, the dog would fall back down. Edmonds carried Radar home and immediately took him to the veterinarian.

He says Radar is now recovering.

“My opinion is someone who did this isn’t even a person,” Edmonds said.

Similar events

What happened to Radar is similar to the deaths of a cat and dog in Calgary’s Willowdale neighbourhood in January.

The cat and dog were found dead just days apart in the same alleyway, their mouths covered with tape. Those two incidents sparked widespread anger in the community, and prompted a mobile veterinarian service, Vets to Go, to launch an online campaign to help raise money to catch the person responsible for the deaths.

The campaign raised more than $70,000 in less than a month. A reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction has been capped at $20,000. The rest of the money will go toward lobbying efforts to strengthen animal cruelty laws.

The president of the vet service says the generosity speaks to people’s disgust with seeing animals abused.

“What it says is that Calgarians, and Canadians in general, are tired of seeing these animal abuse cases come up,” said Greg Habstritt, the president of Vets to Go. “They see something happened, they feel terrible for the animals, but nothing changes.”

Police say there is a person of interest in the deaths of the cat and dog. They are still looking for a suspect in Radar’s case, which police say they do not believe is connected to the earlier incidents.

Edmonds says he is now hesitant to let his dogs roam free in his backyard. He says he plans on installing surveillance cameras.

“I don’t know what to think. I see it on the news … But when it happens to you it’s completely different,” he said.

With a report from CTV Calgary’s Kevin Green