The Niagara County SPCA took custody of a German shepherd-type dog last week after the animal was left chained to a tree behind a home in Newfane with no food or water and inadequate shelter from the cold.
Niagara County sheriff's deputies were called to the Lockport-Olcott Road residence March 21 by the property owner, who found the abandoned dog after evicting the previous tenants.
Deputies said the dog had wrapped the chain around the base of the tree, severely limiting its mobility and making it impossible to reach a flimsy three-walled and floor-less shanty nearby. Temperature at the time deputies arrived at the scene was 24 degrees, and it had been significantly colder the previous night, they reported.
It was not known how long the dog had been left in those conditions. The landlord told deputies that the tenants who owned the dog were believed to have moved to the Lockport area, but officers were unable to track them down. The SPCA has taken over the investigation.