BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) –An abused puppy is making a surprising comeback after having an embedded collar removed from her neck.
Someone in Bainbridge tied the dog up and let a tightly wrapped cord dig inches into her throat.
Humane Society leaders want you to come forward if you know about animal abuse or neglect.
If someone hadn't come forward for the puppy named Onni, she would have died.
It's hard to look at the open wound on little Onni's throat. But it's even harder to believe that someone could do this to her.
"My stomach just sank," recalls Beth Eck the Bainbridge Humane Society director. "Just the neglect and the cruelty that people can inflict on an animal is heartbreaking. And if you can do that to an animal, you can do that to a person, to a child. There's a big connection."
When the call came in about a dog with its head cut off, Eck prepared for the worst.
"I didn't know what to expect. And they called me and said no, it's not cut off, but it is very bad damage and we need to put the dog down."
But she says there was something special about Onni, whose name is Finnish for luck.
"When we found Onni, I knew it was the perfect name for her since what she's been through," says Eck's granddaughter and shelter volunteer, Kathryn Eck.
"Her tail was wagging the whole time," adds Beth. "I said no, we have to save this dog."
And that's what they did. In just a week's time, Onni's condition has improved by fifty percent.
Officials are hoping that stories like Onni's will encourage people to report animal cruelty cases. But unfortunately, many of the abusers, like Onni's, go unpunished.
"One of the main frustrations is that a lot of the time the owners will not claim the dog even if it's in their own yard," Eck explains. "It seems like there are not a lot of laws that take care of that problem. I feel like if it was drugs or something else that was in your yard it would be your responsibility."
Now, Onni's only concern is making up for lost time and just being a puppy.
"I'm so surprised that she wouldn't be biting people," says Kathryn.
"Animals are very forgiving of mistreatment," Beth explains. "And she's turning into a really happy girl."
A happy ending for a puppy who had a horrible beginning.
Onni will be moved to a foster home for the remainder of her treatment.
The Humane Society will be very picky when choosing a permanent home for the puppy.
To report cases of animal neglect or abuse contact your local animal control, Humane Society, or police department.