3 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

UPDATE (November 18, 2012, Sunday) -- Two months after Xena was nearly killed from abuse, and rescued, police continue to search for her abuser. And, as you can see in this latest video,Xena has almost fully recovered.

She was the special guest at the "Friends of DeKalb Animals"fundraiser at Savage Pizza in Avondale Estates Sunday afternoon, where shegreeted friends and strangers alike cheerfully.

And within about a month, her caregivers sayXena will be ready to start the next chapter of her life -- adoption.

If you're interested in taking her home, you can fill out an application on the shelter's website.

____________________

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.(September 19, 2012, Wednesday) -- DeKalb County Police are investigating a severe case of animal abuse that has captured the attention of thousands of animal lovers, a case that is both repulsive and, now, miraculous.

It's the case of a puppy found starved nearly-to-death in DeKalb County.

The dog is now flourishing as police work around the clock trying to find the person who abused her.

"Her laying on the steel table, she clearly looks dead," is how Lynn Herron, ofFriends of DeKalb Animals, described her first glimpse of the puppy.

The puppy, possibly a lab-retriever mix, is about four months old.

She was abandoned in someone's front yard this past Saturday, Sept. 15.

"She was cold to the touch," Herron said. "So she was probably 30 minutes to an hour of being dead... she was breathing... the dog couldn't walk, so it's unclear to me how the dog got there. Somebody had to have dumped the dog."

She is fighting back -- and surviving in less than a week.

That is why they've named her Xena the Warrior Puppy.

"And we're just amazed and we're just hopefully optimistic that there's not any long-term brain damage, long-term organ damage. She's such a sweet, little dog," Herron said Wednesday. "She's eating. I think she's gained two pounds. She weighed five pounds when she came in. She was about the size of a woman's size-eight shoe... It's just amazing just to see the light in her eyes, because you didn't see that in the beginning."

The DeKalb County Police Department's Animal Cruelty Unit has been working since Saturday to track down the abuser, hoping someone will give them a tip to help them.

"And I'm really hoping that they find who did this," Herron said. "I can't imagine how anybody could do that to an animal."

DeKalb Animal Control has asked Herron, and Chrissy Kaczynski, who is also with Friends of DeKalb Animals, to nurse Xena back to health.

Kaczyinski set upa Facebook page thatnow shows photos of Xena in the yard, playing with her toys, making her first attempts at climbing the stairs to the house. The Facebook page has become a community of thousands of people following and supporting Xena's recovery. They donated close to $10,000 as of Wednesday night. Money left-over will go toward saving other abused animals.

The reality is that there are, on average, about a dozen cases a month of animal abuse reported in DeKalb County.

And the cases can be prosecuted as felonies.

"If somebody can do that do an animal, they can do it to a human, they can do it to a child," Herron said. "I mean, it's just one step."

The county is not allowing anyone to visit Xenaas she recovers.

And anyone who might know a person who recently abused a four-month-old, female, retriever-lab mix should call:

DeKalb County Police Sgt. Tim Medlin at 404-294-2645, or

DeKalb Animal Control at 404-294-2996.

"And I know times are hard," Herron said. "But if you've got a dog and you can't take care of it, it is more humane to turn it in to the shelter than it is to throw it out on the streets."

Follow 11Alive News on Twitter: @11AliveNews

Follow Jon Shirek on Twitter: @JonShirek

3 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.11alive.com/NHzDg5