WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Contra Costa Water District workers found “Gino” the Australian Shepherd on Monday, drowned in a canal with his back legs bound in a shoelace.

“They’re in the canals on a daily basis and they know fairly well what’s in there and today at a collection area, along with some debris, they found the animal,” Contra Costa County Animal Services Deputy Director Rick Golphin said.

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Canal workers brought Gino to Contra Costa County Animal Services in Martinez to document the animal abuse, and that’s when the work of finding Gino’s owner began.

“Our staff was not able to identify, we scanned for microchips, were not able to identify a microchip on the scan and there was no collar,” Golphin said.

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A canal worker eventually saw a flyer in the neighborhood for a missing dog and connected the dots.

The dog’s owner posted a message on Nextdoor, saying “He was a gentle soul. He was growing old along with me. We laughed that he had doggie dementia as well as arthritis. I knew I would lose him soon, but not like this.”

There’s easy access to the canal from the road and nearby trail, and Contra Costa County Animal Service is trying to track down who would do this to poor Gino.

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“I think any caring person would respond negatively to that,” Golphin said.