DADE CITY (FOX 13) - An hours-old puppy whose rescuer found it tied up and left to die by railroad tracks in Dade City is doing great after a stressful start to its life this week.
Rabecca Cruz, a photographer in Dade City, was taking pictures of a house off of U.S. 301 when she heard a small animal crying.
"I just heard a very loud cry, but it was a distress call. You could tell the animal was hurt, in pain, scared," she said.
As she approached the tracks, the noise got louder and then she saw a newborn puppy barely visible in the brush.
"I found her huddled up under here," Cruz told FOX 13, pointing to a spot in the weeds, "and when I went to grab her, she was attached to the ground with something and I looked. Her leg was bent like this and it was tied up."
The puppy, believed to be a pit bull-mix, had its legs bound and was howling for help.
"It made me sick, sick to my stomach. I was shaking," she said. "It broke my heart and it really concerns me about the other puppies, and the mama too."
Cruz, who also volunteers for Owl's Nest Animal Rescue Sanctuary, carefully freed the dog and rushed the animal to a veterinarian. The puppy didn't amazingly didn't have any broken bones in its fragile legs and was treated for dehydration.
Cruz brought the dog to a friend, Deirdre Oakley, who also volunteers for an animal rescue group.
"[She's a] very vocal, very strong, very good eater. I think she's going to pull through really well. She's definitely a fighter," Oakley said, adding she's wondering what kind of person would do this. "There's part of me that wants to pray for the soul of the person that could do something [like this]. If it's a child, I'm very concerned about the adult they're going to become and if it's an adult, then they need to be dealt with."
Oakley named the puppy "Polka Dot" and said the puppy's umbilical cord just fell off Friday.
While Oakley hasn't decided for sure if she'll keep her, she thinks it'll be hard to let her go after caring for her for several weeks.
"I'll probably fall in love with her and she'll be my fourth dog," she said.
Cruz and Oakley are planning to get the Pasco County Sheriff's Office involved and hope detectives can figure out who's responsible for this.