POSTED: 12:42 pm CDT June 19, 2007ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --
An abused pit bull found abandoned 12 days ago is recovering after suffering severe abuse and undergoing surgery to remove a football-sized tumor.
The dog, named Elmi by her veterinarians, was given only a 50 percent chance of surviving surgery. Englewood police brought Elmi to the Colorado Humane Society June 6 with severe anemia and dehydration. She had ulcers on her face from years of abuse, veterinarians said.
The 6-year-old pit bull had been dumped in the 3100 block of South Platte River Drive and apparently left to die.
"It's definitely the most horrific case of neglect I've ever seen," said veterinarian Dr. Lara Riggenbach with the Colorado Humane Society. "It was abusive. It was very, very bad. The physical condition was shocking."
Elmi has since had the large tumor on her abdomen removed. Doctors said the tumor could have been prevented if she had been spayed. The ulcers and cuts on her face are almost 90 percent healed.
"I think she's been a rock star," Riggenbach said. "She's been a great patient."
Doctors said Elmi's lips, eaten away by disease, will never grow back.
"We have many cases like this. She's the one who got on the news but it takes a lot of donations," Riggenbach said. "It's really nice that the public stepped up and sent in the money to help with Elmi's care."
Elmi's care and treatment has cost about $3,000. The Colorado Humane Society has received about half of that in donations to help pay for her care.
Riggenbach and the dog's other veterinarians affectionately named her Elmi, which is Italian for "worthy of love."
"I really want to find someone who can give her the best of the end of her life," Riggenbach said.
Elmi's tumor was cancerous, but X-rays of her lungs came back negative, so veterinarians said they are optimistic that she will recover.
Englewood police said they have received one credible tip in the case against the dog's abusive owners. However, no arrests in the case have been made.