MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — A criminal investigation is underway after a dog was found stabbed with a knife in Milton. 

The dog, named Marley, was stabbed in the back on April 7 off Henderson Smith Road in Milton, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. 

Milton resident Lisa Hadley was the first person to spot the injured dog. 

“I got out of my vehicle and looked at him,” Hadley said. “He had a knife handle sticking out of his spine. He just laid there — suffering.” 

Hadley said she contacted authorities. At one point, Marley rolled over and a long, sharp and bloody knife fell out of the dog’s back. 

Photo courtesy of Lisa Hadley

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office says when a deputy responded to Marley, the dog needed immediate medical attention. Marley was taken to a veterinarian but had to be euthanized due to the severity of his injuries. 

Hadley is still shocked by the alleged animal abuse. 

“This is not an aggressive dog. This is a beautiful lab. This is a child’s dog. How they could do that — I just don’t understand,” Hadley said. “If you’re in fear for your life, I can understand protecting yourself, but this dog is not an aggressive dog. I don’t think he was attacking anyone.” 

Hadley said Monday she hopes justice is served, and she’s willing to help make sure it is. 

“I’m willing to go to court to help them. I’ll do anything I can,” she said. “It’s very hard to see someone do something like this. They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.” 

The SRCSO says anyone with information about the incident should call its non-emergency line at 850-983-1190. 

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can provide tips to Santa Rosa Crime Stoppers by calling 850-437-STOP. You can receive a reward up to $3,000.