The male Florida Cur was panting, drooling and reportedly suffocating when a concerned citizen found the animal wandering through backyards in Lehigh Acres, located about 16 miles east of Fort Myers, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.
The dog was dehydrated, appeared malnourished and was bleeding from wounds on its left arm and chest, police said. Thick red electrical tape was tightly wound around the animal’s snout several times.
"A person that's able to do this to an animal, later on can possibly do this to a human being," Sheriff Carmine Marceno told WWSB-TV.
The dog has since been treated by a veterinarian and is “resting comfortably,” police said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information regarding the identity of the dog, its owner or the incident to call either the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000 or submit information anonymously to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-(800) 780-TIPS.