A £500 reward has been offered after three dead dogs were pulled out of the River Bann between Banbridge and Gilford.
Examinations have shown at least one of the dogs had suffered a significant injury.
The USPCA confirmed it had responded to reports from a passer-by of three submerged dog carcases in the River Bann midway between Banbridge and Gilford.
“The accuracy of the information supplied assisted a USPCA Welfare Officer to locate the remains and, despite obvious challenges, he was able to remove them before they were washed downstream,” said USPCA’s David Wilson.
“The immature terrier type animals were brought to the USPCA Animal Hospital at Newry where examinations were carried out by Dr Alan Bolton the charity’s senior veterinarian.
“Initial findings would suggest that at least one of the animals had suffered a significant injury,” Mr Wilson said.
The USPCA is liaising with the statutory bodies empowered with enforcement of the animal welfare legislation, the PSNI and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council Animal Welfare Inspectors to ensure a robust investigation takes place.
Mr Wilson said: “The USPCA Trustees are appalled by this apparent act of cruelty and are offering a £500 reward for information leading to a successful prosecution. This can be passed to the Charity on our Animal Helpline 028 3025 1000 and we will ensure it is acted upon.”