PROVIDENCE -- Ed Dandaraw has owned beagles all his life.
So when the Providence man spotted a pair of brown legs protruding from a black garbage bag while hunting on his rural property off Drager Road on Sunday, he knew immediately that there were two more hidden out of sight.
What he was not prepared for, however, was the way the animal would appear once it was relieved of its plastic trappings.
Duct tape, Dandaraw discovered, bound the dog from head to foot.
Timid, the 4-year-old animal, was listless, a skeletal incarnation of its former 40-pound self - a scene that led Dandaraw to assume the dog was dead, "decomposing under all of that tape."
Despite the grim prognosis, Dandaraw scooped the beagle up. He learned there was some life left in the animal after all.
"I picked it up and she just let out a blood-curdling scream," Dandaraw said from his home on Thursday. "She was probably just terrified."
Dandaraw placed the dog on the back of his four-wheeler, ushered it out of the woods and immediately called a veterinarian to help remove the tape and begin nursing it back to health.
The beagle wouldn't have lasted another day, Dandaraw predicted, and was probably only able to survive as long as it did because of a small opening that had been left in the duct tape near its nose - a detail that still leaves him wrestling with emotion.
"What's scary is that they intentionally left the nostrils untaped so she would suffer," Dandaraw said. "It really sickened me to my stomach."
Using a microchip implanted in the dog's skin, police have now been able to determine it belonged to a family living just miles from where it was found.
The family had been looking for it for weeks, Saratoga County Sheriff's investigator Rick Capasso said, and are now assisting in the investigation and in posting a reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Capasso said it remains unclear how the dog, Daisy, could have found itself in such a precarious situation, but that it had been known to wander, one time turning up as far from home as the Wilton Mall.
"This dog was a real wanderer," he said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 885-6761.