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Dog left trapped in cage to drown as tide rose at New Jersey park

HIGHLANDS, N.J. — Jennifer Vaz was on her routine morning walk with her 4-year-old boxer, Molly, on Monday along Sandy Hook Bay in New Jersey when they came across the whimpering puppy.

Down by the rocks along the waterside, she discovered a 1-year-old pit bull, locked in a wired cage.

“When I looked down, I saw these eyes looking back at me, like these little cute puppy eyes, scared in the crate and locked up,” she told WPIX, recalling the scene at Veterans Memorial Park.

Without skipping a beat, Vaz jumped over the railing and helped the pup.

“When I opened the crate, Molly actually went in and gave him a little kiss to show, you know, you can trust us,” she said.

According to authorities, if it weren’t for the good Samaritan stumbling upon the dog, the cage would’ve been completely submerged in less than an hour.

Officials suspect the dog was dumped between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

“I can’t believe this happened in our town, that someone could be so malicious,” Vaz said.

The dog, now named River, is said to be in good condition and is being treated at the Monmouth County SPCA.

The County Prosecutor’s office is now investigating the incident that left residents, like Patricia Moskawin, disbelief.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Moskawin said. “I don’t think anyone could. I reposted it (on Facebook), and some people told me they couldn’t even open it.”

As the investigation continues, Vaz told WPIX, if and when she gets the all clear from the SPCA, she plans to adopt River, shielding him from any further heartbreak.