CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Starved and dumped.
That's what animal rescue officials believe happened to a three-year-old dog named Kaylee, before she was found wandering in the streets on the east side of Cleveland last week.
"She was wandering down the street, and Cleveland police picked her up," said Anna Merriman, founder of Mutts in a Rut Rescue. "They just happened to be in the area."
Mutts in a Rut is a Cleveland-area, foster-based rescue that's now coordinating the dog's care. She's currently at West Park Animal Hospital being treated before she'll be able to head off to a foster home.
In a Facebook post on the Mutts in a Rut Rescue page, Merriman wrote:
"I just can’t comprehend why dogs show up as strays like this over and over again. Starved and dumped. Who knows the last time she ate but she still wants to give kisses, still sits when you tell her to sit, still wags her tail at everyone she sees. She still believes that there is something better for her out there...no more struggle to survive anymore."
According to veterinarian Dr. Nicole Plantner, Kaylee weighed 22 pounds when she was found. That's about half of what she should weigh. Over the past week, she's gained about four pounds. Her ribs and bones are still clearly visible, and she's always hungry.
But she's expected to bounce back and live a full and normal life after she gains some weight.
"Small frequent feedings," said Plantner. "Gradually, despite the fact she'd like to eat everything. To ease her system back into normal eating patterns."
According to Merriman, Kaylee's situation is unfortunately pretty common. She said when dogs are found so emaciated, it's generally because they've been starved and dumped.
"We've definitely seen worse," she said.
Now, Plantner said West Park Animal Hospital will get Kaylee through the worst of her condition, and then she'll go to a foster home. Then, she can find her furevers.
"She's very sweet and friendly despite being obviously mistreated," said Plantner. "So she's come a long way."
Mutts in a Rut is raising money for Kaylee's care, and regular updates will be posted on their Facebook page.
To donate toward Kaylee's care, click here.