A security guard heard commotion on East Lathrop early Saturday and found a dog stuffed into a burning trash can.
He immediately took the dog out with help of Savannah Police (see video below)
The dog was taken to Savannah Animal Care and was immediately treated. The dog's condition is improving and will soon be available for foster/adoption.
Kari Jenkins, medical director of the animal hospital, said the dog had plastic from the trash can melted into her fur, along with some skin and fur burns. She also treated the puppy for smoke inhalation. Jenkins said, being a puppy, the animal rebounded fast. She said the burns are now healing nicely, and the puppy is on antibiotics and pain medicine.
The clinic staff is calling the puppy Phoenix, and Jenkins thinks she is part Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
"She's definitely a mix, and what she is is super cute," she said.
Jenkins has worked in emergency care and shelters for years, but said seeing an animal that's been intentionally hurt is especially hard.
"It's extremely upsetting, especially when it's intentional, " Jenkins said. "I mean, we see burn cases where it's house fires, things like that, so we're used to treating them, but anytime there's an intentional involvement, it actually gets you extremely angry."
"A lot of times, these cases, the people aren't found because people aren't coming forward," she said. "Unfortunately, people who are able to do these things to animals a lot of times will even brag about it or shoot videos, or other people will hear about it, so we really need the community to kind of reach out if they or people in the area at the time this happened or know of some kids talking about something that they heard, or someone they may have seen. Coming forward with that information is extremely important because the people who are able to do this are mentally ill. The sooner we can get them help, the less likely they are to escalate to even more heinous crimes or even involving humans."
Anyone with information should contact Metro Police or Crimestoppers anonymously at 234-2020.