A puppy was found abandoned in a dumpster in Coachella Valley, marking the second such incident in only three weeks.
An employee at a jewelry store noticed a group of people making the disturbing discovery on Sunday afternoon, People reports. The employee’s daughter, Alejandra Espinoza Zazueta, told the outlet that her mother noticed the group looking inside of a dumpster by the store, only to pull out a plastic bag with a crying puppy inside.
The puppy, a pit bull mix only a few weeks old, was unable to walk after presumably being beaten, according to the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, a nonprofit organization and animal shelter based in Sherman Oaks, California. Some of the animal’s tail had been removed, and the organization theorizes that she’d been “burned with a caustic substance, or a metal object like an iron.”
The discovery of the puppy comes less than a month after a woman was observed tossing a plastic bag with seven puppies inside into a dumpster near an Auto Parts store in Napa. Deborah Culwell, 54, has since been charged in relation to the crime and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of seven felony counts of injuring the animals and seven misdemeanor counts of abandoning them, according to the Associated Press.
The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the latest dog’s current state.
“We will do everything we can to hold whoever did this accountable, but will need the public’s help,” they said Wednesday.
Zazueta has named the puppy Hope because she's a "fighter," People reports.
She told the outlet that she and her mother first saw the severe burns on the lower half of the puppy’s body and did not know if she was going to make it, but the pair placed the dog into a box lined with a towel and rushed her to a local vet for treatment. She was then transferred to the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation for treatment, where staff from McGrath Veterinary Center came in to help and found that the animal’s injuries were likely inflicted intentionally, People reports.
“[Hope] smelled awful and we found out that her skin was completely rotten on her back,” Zazueta said. “They had to surgically remove it.”
Hope is currently under 24-hour surveillance as she recovers in an intensive care unit, with Zazueta reporting on Thursday that the pup had been showing signs of improvement, according to People. However, she still is unable to walk and may be paralyzed.
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