SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — Someone stuffed a golden retriever puppy into a plastic garbage bag and dumped it on the side of Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County, deputies said.

The puppy was found by a passing motorist under Highway 1’s Buena Vista Road overpass just south of Aptos on March 26.

“The animal showed evidence of abuse and was stuffed into a plastic garbage bag before being left on the side of the road,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote.

The 4-month-old puppy was still alive, and severely injured, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. A California Highway Patrol sergeant transported the puppy, named “Cheddar,” to a veterinary hospital.

This week, sheriff’s deputies are asking for the public’s help to identify who was responsible for this case of “horrific” animal abuse.

The abandoned puppy was found wearing this collar. (Image courtesy SCCSO)

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and Santa Cruz County Animal Services are asking for any information related to this incident. Investigators released photographs of Cheddar and the pup’s collar.

Anyone with information related to this case is urged to call SCCSO Sergeant Miyoshi at 831-454-7640.

This abused puppy was found abandoned along Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County. (SCCSO)

The golden retriever is currently recovering from injuries suffered from aggravated animal neglect and abuse, and is receiving around-the-clock emergency veterinary care, the SCCSO stated.

If community members would like to assist with Cheddar’s medical needs, SCCAS encourages donations to the SCCAS Extra Mile Fund for animals with extraordinary veterinary needs. Cheddar’s medical expenses will likely exceed $10,000. Donations in any amount are appreciated and donations tax deductible, the Sheriff’s Office stated. Go to to learn more or contribute.