A 1-year-old dog named Pixie is recovering at a Florida animal center after she was found with her snout tied shut with an elastic band.
Two women dropped off the Yorkie at Paws 2 Help in West Palm Beach Saturday, and volunteers found the band had been wrapped so tightly around her nose that bone was visible.
The women gave conflicting accounts as to why the dog was in such poor condition, but one said that a neighbor put the band around her snout to stop her from barking, according to WPEC.
"She smelled like rotten meat so I knew we had a lot of dead tissue right there on the face somewhere," said Dr. Lisa Matthews.
Volunteers said they believe the dog was passed from person to person and left in a cage on a concrete patio. They're not sure when she last ate.
"I don't know who put this around her snout, but somebody did, and they hurt her," Dr. Matthews said.
The women quickly left after leaving Pixie at the center, WPEC reported.
Staff members were able to remove the band and remain hopeful she won't develop sepsis.
"Every day she is doing a little bit better," the center wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. "We got a wagging tail this morning. And she came right up and laid on my lap, just happy to have people to take care of her and to be feeling better.
"She is still fighting off an infection, and still has open wounds all the way around her muzzle, but she is able to eat baby food, and is drinking water. Little by little, Every day, she is getting a little better."
The shelter set up a PayPal account for donations to help with her recovery.
The case is shockingly similar to a dog in South Carolina named Caitlyn, whose owner taped her mouth shut. Last week, her owner was sentenced to five years in prison.