A dog found tied to a tree in Hickory Run State Park has been rescued.

The dog, believed to be a pit bull mix, was found Thursday afternoon and is now at the Carbon County Animal Shelter.

"Apparently someone took the dog and walked into the woods before tying him to a tree, so that the dog couldn't be seen from the road," said Tom Connors, the shelter director.

He noted that no food or water was left with the animal.

While the dog wasn't visible from the road, people in the area heard the dog and notified park rangers. DCNR rangers then contacted the shelter.

After providing the dog with food, water and treats and a bit of reassurance the animal went willingly into Connors' vehicle.

He has since proven to be friendly and eager to socialize, and was named "Ranger" to thank the park rangers who arranged his rescue. Ranger appears to be house trained, and can also sit and shake hands on command.

Shelter officials are unsure of his age, but will know more once he is examined by a veterinarian early next week.

"He's a sweetheart of a dog," added Connors, watching as Ranger played outside the shelter. "It's unfortunate that people do this. This wonderful dog would have died in those woods."

Shelter officials noted that it will be difficult to find the dog's owner or the person who abandoned the dog, as he did not have tags when he was rescued. If found, he or she would likely be charged with cruelty to animals and abandonment.

They are hopeful that someone will recognize the dog in pictures but their priority lies in getting Ranger back to a healthy weight and finding him a safe home.

"People need to know that it is against the law to abandon an animal," said Connors. "This dog was tied to a tree in the woods. He was unable to defend himself. He had no food or water. He didn't have a chance."

Anyone with information about Ranger is asked to contact the shelter at (570) 325-4828.