Authorities say the dog was hanging from a tree branch with her feet barely touching the ground. She was alive when she was hung and showed signs of sexual abuse.

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Thurston County Animal Services is searching for the person who raped and killed a a female dog in rural Thurston County.

The dog, a pit bull, was found dead hanging from a tree on Department of National Resources property on Monday, said Officer Erika Johnson of Thurston County Animal Services. A mountain biker found the dog near the second Summit Lake Shore Road exit from Highway 8.

The dog was hanging from a tree branch with her feet barely touching the ground. She was alive when she was hung and showed signs of sexual abuse.

“Something like this is not very common. This is horrific,” Johnson said.

The Humane Society of the United States and Pasados Safe Haven have offered up to $10,000 reward for information about the dog.

“To think about the suffering this dog experienced in her final moments, as well as knowing there’s an individual or individuals in our state who would perpetrate this type of abuse, is sickening. We are hopeful this reward will bring someone forward with information about this despicable crime,” said Dan Paul, the Humane Society’s Washington director.

Johnson said the killer, if found, likely will be charged with first-degree animal cruelty, a class C felony. In the 2006 legislative session, animal-cruelty laws were amended to include bestiality.

Anyone with information about the dog’s death is asked to call Johnson at 360-352-2510.