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SOUTH ST.  LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) - The Humane Society of Missouri is investigating a case of animal abuse after investigators with the Animal Cruelty Task Force responded to a call for help. Residents living in an apartment building near the intersection of Grand and Taft discovered a young pit bull chained to a back porch railing.

Investigator Anne Vincent said the dog was chained in the sun without any shade or water for 4 to 6 hours.

"The dog only had about 1 to 2 feet of room to move," said Vincent.  

She suspected the dog clawed its way out of its collar in order to escape to some shade but collapsed as soon as it found shade in the corner of the fenced in yard.

Neighbors hosed the dog down with water and provided it with cold water.

"They saved her from death," said Vincent. "She clearly would have died in these temperatures."
 
The Humane Society was caring for the dog Tuesday afternoon but veterinarian Jeff Bergmann says it's too soon to know if the dog will survive.

"It was uncoordinated when it was walking," said Bergmann.  He said the dog also showed signs of having a seizure and vomiting.

When we went to the neighborhood to see where this happened we found a man calling himself Joseph Little.

He said the dog was his.  Liottle said he had no idea it was left in the heat.  Little said he was in the process of buying the dog from someone and was surprised to learn the dog was left on the back porch of an apartment building where he visits.

"I went out of town came back today," said Little.

He suspected the person he was buying the dog from was to blame.

"I don't know what went on," said Little.  "I don`t know why he would leave the dog back here."

Little said investigators wanted to meet with him Wednesday morning.

Bergmann says it doesn't take long for a dog to overheat in extreme temperatures.

'They`re like us only walking around in fur coats,' Bergmann said.  He said dogs should not be left outside during extreme heat.