A dog owner who disposed of his dead cocker spaniel by weighing it down and dumping it in a river, has been labelled despicable by the RSPCA.
Tests have revealed the animal was already dead before a 10 kilogramme weight was strapped to the body with a harness.
The RSPCA launched an investigation after the female cocker spaniel was spotted by people walking along the River Test in Nursling, Southampton.
Police are checking footage from a nearby CCTV camera to see if the dog owner can be identified.
After the story appeared in the local Southern Daily Echo newspaper, horrified readers raised almost £2,000 to catch the culprit.
A RSPCA spokeswoman said: "Initial tests by a vet would indicate it was already dead.
"It's difficult to say any more as tests and investigations are continuing.
"Even if it died before being thrown in the water it's a despicable act and no way to dispose of an animal's body."