Tampa, Florida -- It's a horrific case of animal abuse: a dog was shot twice and then buried alive. Miraculously, the animal survived and now investigators want to find the people responsible.

"This is sick," says Animal Services Sgt. Pat Perry. "Someone took this dog, buried it up to its neck, shot it twice in the head, and then left it to die."

The mixed-breed puppy has beennamed Phoebe by her rescuers. An anonymous caller told police they heard three gunshots in the area Clair-Mel. Animal Control officers and police went out to the scene, where they found the dog buried.

Photo Gallery:Dog buried up to its neck, shot twice

"This is a sick person or persons that did this," says Sgt. Perry."And if they did this to a dog, they'll do it to another dog, a cat, a child, a person, a friend... and they need to be stopped."

The big question is: why would somebody do this? Apparently the answer may not be as simple as animal abuse. This could possibly be a message to Animal Control from people who live in the Clair-Mel area.

Officers have been very aggressive in the area, and removing dogs that have been abused.They think thiscould bea message to them to stay out... but officers have no plans to back down.

They ask that anyone who may have tips on who was behind this heinous act to call police.

Donations to The Phoebe Fund may be made to the 501c3 non-profit organization Friends of Hillsborough County Animal Services or Friends of HCAS at P.O. Box 2191 Seffner, Florida 33583 or www.friendsofHCAS.org. PAYPAL is available.

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