CHESTER, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Authorities in Delaware County are searching for the person who put a dog in a canvas suitcase while it was apparently alive and let it die there, struggling to escape.

Delaware County humane officials say the animal’s decomposed remains were found in the case Thursday next to a vacant house in Chester.

Dr. Kimberly Boudwin, director of shelter medicine for the county Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the animal was probably a young adult and had been dead for weeks or even months.

Officials said the suitcase was torn from scratch marks and the dog’s teeth were clenched to the inner mesh, indicating it was probably alive when placed inside the case.

Humane society police officer Ron Riggle called such treatment not only illegal but immoral.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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