LEWISTON — Officials are looking to identify the owner of a “severely emaciated” pit bull mix found tied to a cemetery tree Tuesday night.

The young, tan male weighed 37 pounds, almost 20 pounds under his ideal weight, according to Zachary Black, operations manager at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

“He’s skin and bones and a super, super friendly guy,” Black said. “We’re not sure how someone could do that to (him.)”

Police brought the dog to the shelter after responding to a call of a dog tied to a tree at Riverside Cemetery. The dog was found with a leash and choke collar.

It’s been good with people and other animals, and very hungry, Black said.

He estimated the dog’s age at 10 months to a year. Its ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones are easily visible, he said.

State law requires the dog be held for seven days. The shelter hopes to put weight on him, neuter him, find a foster family and eventually find a home for him if the owner can’t be located.

If the owner is found, he or she could face a possible summons for cruelty to animals, Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout said.

“This happened over a period of months,” he said.

Anyone with information about the dog’s owner can call Strout at 513-3111.

[email protected]

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