The Grainger County Sheriff’s Office said authorities found a dead pit bull with a rope around its neck on Norris Lake.
An incident report said authorities received a call to the lake near Black Fox Bridge around 3:20 p.m. on April 21.
Upon arriving, authorities found the dog with a rope around its neck tied to a concrete block floating between the old bridge and new bridge.
Authorities found no one near the area. The report said the dog appeared to be in the lake for several days to months.
Daniel Flatford discovered the dog and reported it to authorities.
"Yeah, it's hearbreaking," he told WBIR 10News Friday.
He and a colleague were making a delivery for work last week, when they crossed the Black Fox Bridge.
"I was explaining to him how we used to jump off the bridge as a kid, and he didn't think it was deep enough, so we stopped. I let him look over the edge, and he got a gasp, and I was like, 'Well, what's the matter?'" Flatford recounted. "I jumped out and looked, and there was the dog. You know, just an unbelieveable sight, rope around its neck and you could see the cinder block tied down and it floating around in circles. Heartbreaking. Heartbreaking."
He said the situation makes him mad.
"It just looks bad on the community. I mean, what type of people live there that would do such a thing?" he said. "No excuse. No excuse...If you're going to put down a dog, do it right. Don't torture the animal."
At the nearby Union County Humane Society, just outside Maynardville, executive director Tammy Rouse said this is all too common.
"Often times, people get frustrated with stray or free-roaming dogs, and they take matters into their own hands, rather than contact the authorities or bring a dog to the shelter," she said. "It's unfortunate."
She urges pet owners to put identification on their animals and have them spayed or neutered and said pets are more likely to wander off this time of year, as their spring breeding instincts kick in.
Maranda Tucker and her friends often hang out at the bridge and say people on Facebook are buzzing about the incident.
"Makes me feel bad because I have a big heart for dogs," Tucker said at the bridge Friday afternoon. "It is very shocking."
Flatford shared what he saw on Facebook, hoping whoever killed the dog is held responsible.
No suspects are listed on the incident report. The Grainger County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate.