The Suffolk County SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for help in finding who killed a puppy and left it next to a garbage container in Bay Shore on Thursday, the organization said.

SPCA detectives and Suffolk County police found what appeared to be a dead pit bull puppy at a dock at the end of Maple Avenue at about 9 p.m., according to a news release.

The puppy, about two weeks old, was tied around the waist with a rope, which extended from its body to the inside of the garbage container, said SPCA Chief Roy Gross. A small chicken bone was attached to the other end of the rope, Gross said.

Gross said the death might be a ritual of some kind, "but I really don't know. We're hoping to find that out." He did not know the sex of the puppy.

Gross said SPCA detectives think someone might have seen the puppy killed and hoped that the reward would prompt a response. He called it a "horrible act of animal cruelty."

The puppy will be examined to determine a cause of death, Gross said. There were no signs of bruising or bleeding, he said.

Anyone with information can call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.

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