A deaf and nearly blind puppy was rescued in Kentucky earlier this week after being thrown alive into a rock-filled trash bag and dumped in a partially frozen creek.
Highway workers on a road above the creek in Sadieville, Kentucky, spotted the seven-week-old female puppy on Tuesday as she wiggled her head out of the trash bag and tried to keep her head above the freezing cold water. One of the men waded through the icy waters to get her out of the plastic trash bag, which had another bag inside full of large rocks.
The puppy, "shivering and wet," was suffering from hypothermia, so the men brought her to the Scott County Animal Shelter in Georgetown, Kentucky, according to the shelter's assistant director, Sherry Bishop.
"She couldn't even hold her head up and was very disoriented," Bishop told ABC News. "We rushed her to the vet, where she received fluids to warm up her little body."
The puppy, who has been named Chapel, is believed to be a purebred Australian Shepherd and also what's known as a "double merle," which means the puppy's mother and father both had merle coats. Merle-to-merle breeding can result in a beautiful, almost all-white coat but the puppies have a high chance of being born blind, deaf or both.
Chapel is deaf and severely vision impaired, according to Bishop.
"It's a breeder being greedy," she said. "The breeder can't make money from the ones with congenital birth defects, like in Chapel's case, so we feel like she was tossed away like trash."
The Scott County Animal Shelter is working with local law enforcement to find the person or persons responsible, according to Bishop.
"Whomever did this could have called us and we would have gladly picked her up, or they could've dropped her off at the shelter," she said.
Chapel is doing well after the visit to the veterinarian clinic, plus plenty of love and attention from the shelter staff. The puppy has a good appetite and loves to run, play and nap, Bishop said.
"She makes up for being blind and deaf with her sense of smell. It's amazing to watch," she told ABC News. "She would follow us around by our scent or would hang onto our pant leg with her mouth."
On Friday, Chapel was transported to Speak for the Unspoken, a pet rescue group near Columbus, Ohio, that focuses on special needs animals. She has been placed in a foster home, according to the group's executive director Andrea Kochensparger.
Bishop said it was bittersweet saying goodbye to Chapel, who immediately captured the hearts of the shelter staff.
"They will keep her in foster care for awhile and then find the perfect home suited for her needs," she told ABC News "We are going to miss her, but can't wait to see her placed in a loving home."