HIGHLANDS — A good Samaritan rescued a dog seemingly left to drown in a cage along the ocean, police say.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's office and county SPCA are seeking whoever left the dog in the cage — which it said had may have been trapped their for hours.

At about 6:15 a.m., a passer-by walking a dog in Veterans Memorial Park on Bay Avenue was alerted by something on the water side of a rock bulkhead, the prosecutor's office said. The passer-by investigated, and found a black wire cage with a small dog cowering inside, it said.

The cage was on a small patch of sand between the bulkhead and water, it said. The park runs alongside the Highlands Reach channel.

"The tide was coming in and the water had reached the cage," the prosecutor's office wrote in an announcement Monday.

The passer-by climbed over the wall and rescued the dog, then took it to the Highlands Police Department, which in turn called Animal Control, the prosecutor's office said.

"When Animal Control arrived on the scene, the cage (was) almost covered by the rising tide," the prosecutor's office said. "If not for the heroic rescue act of the good Samaritan, the dog could have potentially drowned.

The dog is described as a male gray and white pit bull, approximately 1 year old, the prosecutor's office said.

It's asking anyone with information on the case to notify the MCPO Animal Cruelty Hotline at 877-898-7297, or notify the Highlands Police Dept. at 732-872-1224.

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