UPDATE: Linn County Sheriff's Office investigates dead puppy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Linn County Sheriff's Office investigates dead puppy

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The Linn County Sheriff's Office investigates the death of a puppy after someone tied it up in a bag, and then they threw it in a river.

Bella was a 10-month-old Shih Tzu Poodle mix.

She wasn't so much a puppy but a member of one Cedar Rapids family.

The dog was found Tuesday after reported missing Monday.

News of her death has people upset over this heinous crime.

Whether you're a pet owner, people say thew person who carried out this terrible crime needs to be brought to justice.

"He said he found her in the river, in a bag, with her legs tied together so that she couldn't swim away. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't fight for her own life," Pet owner Ashley Ray said.

It's been an emotional week for pet owner Ashley Ray, after learning her puppy not only died but suffered.

Linn County authorities are investigating, but no charges have been filed.

Lawmakers say once authorities gather the evidence, the coward needs to be held accountable.

"It would be nice to find the coward who did this personally that someone had to stoop so low to cruelty animals to make a point, whether it's personal or it's a point they were trying to make. It's absolutely ridiculous," State Senator Jeff Danielson said.

Due to the details of this crime, the person responsible could be charged with Animal Torture or Animal Abuse.

Both charges carry an aggravated misdemeanor charge of a 625 to 6,250 dollar fine and up to two years in jail for a first time offense.

Keep in mind this punishment is stricter in Iowa than most other States.

"Short of that, let's think about how we increase the penalties for that kind of behavior so we can create a greater deterrent, because whoever did this clearly thinks they're not going to get caught, or it isn't enough of a penalty for stooping that low," Senator Danielson said.

If authorities find the person responsible, and they're found guilty of torture, state law requires a psychological evaluation, including community service in an animal shelter or pound.

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