TUCSON - At first, it looked like a 2-year-old boxer mix, bloody and found in a Tucson construction site had been hit by a car.
But a closer examination revealed the dog was severely sunburned, his skin hanging loose and even missing from his head and back.
Two Tucson construction workers found the badly injured dog cowering in a dirt trench Wednesday, a piece of rope still tied to its neck.
Humane Society workers speculated the dog had chewed through the rope to escape intense sun rays after someone left him outside.
"This is a really dramatic example of how animals, like people, can burn," said Marsh Meyers, outreach director for the Humane Society.
"A common misconception is that animals have fur and its going to protect them."
Pima Animal Care Center responded to 6,991 animal welfare calls last year, a large number involving animals left out in the sun and heat, said manager Kim Janes.
"Tie outs are one of the predominant calls we get," Janes said. "It is unfortunate and it is scary."
The misdemeanor penalty can escalate to a felony if the animal suffers severe injuries or dies as a result of being tied up outside, Meyers said.
So far, no one has claimed the dog the Humane Society staff has named Bobcat.
Bobcat is on pain medication and antibiotics while his skin recovers, Meyers said.