In a shocking case of animal abuse, Bear the dog was found hanging from a bridge in Ford County, Illinois with his muzzle taped shut. The tortured dog, who had also apparently been shot in the face, was barely clinging to life when rescuers discovered him.

“It’s heinous,” said Ford County Animal Control Officer Darrell Foster. “I’ve seen a lot of different stuff, but this one just kind of really, really hit me.”

Bear was found by Mark Gillespie, who was on a walk with his own dog. “As soon as (my dog) got out of the truck, he ran down by the bridge and sat down and started howling,” said Gillespie. “Sure enough, there was a dog down there.”

Gillespie recognized the dog as belonging to his neighbors. He called animal control to rescue the nearly dead animal, and informed them who the the dog’s owners were — a husband and wife who told investigators that Bear had gone missing while chained up in their yard.

The couple reportedly showed no interested in the well-being of the animal. According to a Ford County sheriff’s lieutenant, “neither seemed surprised or upset that their dog was found tied to a bridge,” and they did not ask if Bear was alright, where he was, or if they would be able to get him back.

Still, no charges have been filed — as is the case with far, far too many violent crimes against animals.

Ford County Animal Rescue has set up a Go Fund Me page for Bear to help cover his medical costs, and have been reporting updates on his condition. Despite his grave injuries, he is finally showing some signs of recovery.

“On a positive note Bear did come out of his cage today and lay down for a belly rub; that is the first emotion he has shown since this incident,” read an update from page organizer Angie Cleary.