PEABODY — Peabody police detectives are looking into the death of Sammy, a 6-year-old golden retriever whose body was found Saturday morning near a Route 1 motel. 

The dog was discovered behind a fence near the Newbury Street Inn shortly before 11 a.m., Peabody police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto said. 

Bonaiuto said the dog was taken to Borash Veterinary Clinic in Peabody for a necropsy. 

A witness initially told police that a man who had been staying in the motel had beaten the dog, Bonaiuto said. That witness later told police that the dog was suffering from a medical condition and died. 

Bonaiuto said police hope to learn more from the results of the necropsy and their ongoing investigation. Police could seek charges if the dog's death was found to be the result of abuse. 

Animal cruelty carries up to a seven-year state prison term in Massachusetts. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

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