Climbers in Malibu find abandoned German Shepherd with zip ties around mouth, neck


A criminal investigation is underway after rock climbers in in a remote area of Southern California reportedly found an abandoned dog with zip ties around its muzzle and neck last week.

Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control officials said the dog − a 7-year-old male German Shepherd − was found the evening of July 3 in Malibu Creek Canyon, according to multiple media reports.

Animal control officers, local KTLA-TV reported, said the climbers found the dog about 250 feet down the side of a road in Agoura Hills.

The location where the hikers discovered the German Shepherd is just over 30 miles west of downtown LA.

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‘He allowed my friend and I to pet him and gently ate our food’

One of the climbers who found the dog told the outlet they were able to “gain the dog’s trust” long enough to remove the zip tie from its mouth and “he allowed my friend and I to pet him and he gently ate our food out of our hands.”

It was not immediately known who put the zip ties on the animal, how long the dog had been bound or who the animal’s owner is.

USA TODAY has reached out to LA animal control and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who is also investigating the animal cruelty case.

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Stranded in a ravine with its mouth zip-tied shut

Malibu Search and Rescue responded to the scene and found the dog stranded in a ravine and the climbers called authorities, according to The Malibu Times.

The outlet reported that rescuers cut more zip ties off the animal at the scene and transported it to the Agoura Hills LACO Animal Shelter. Officials reported that he was then taken to Palmdale Animal Care Center for medical treatment.

Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control is investigating after officials said rock climbers in Southern California found an abandoned German Shepherd with zip ties around its muzzle and neck on July 3, 2024 in a remote area of Malibu Creek Canyon.

Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control is investigating after officials said rock climbers in Southern California found an abandoned German Shepherd with zip ties around its muzzle and neck on July 3, 2024 in a remote area of Malibu Creek Canyon.

A veterinarian determined the dog was suffering from inflammation, had been exposed to poison oak and found warts and skin tags on its stomach and groin area, KTLA-TV reported animal control said.

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Dog found zip-tied in Malibu Creek Canyon named Argon

According to a LA Animal Care and Control listing, officials named the dog Argon.

Argon weighs about 80 pounds and on Monday, the listing showed, had been transported back to the Agoura Animal Care Center.

As of Tuesday he was not immediately available for adoption.

In Defense of Animals, an animal-rights advocacy group based in San Raphael, was reportedly offering a $2,500 reward this week for information leading to the person or people who abandoned the animal.

USA TODAY has reached out to the organization.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Los Angeles law enforcement or animal control.

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: German Shepherd found abandoned, zip-tied at Malibu Creek Canyon



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