The call to "It's a Pittie" pit bull rescue in Monee, Illinois came in on Tuesday.
A pregnant pit bull had been set afire and hit by a car somewhere in the south suburbs. An animal shelter had taken her in as a stray, but she needed medical treatment immediately. "It's a Pittie" had to wait 24 hours for the dog's release, however.
Jamie Skraban, who's worked at "It's a Pittie" for just over a year said it's one of the worst cases she's seen during her time there.
The dog, which they've begun referring to as Petunia, had burns over 25 percent of her body and possible internal damage from being hit by a car. She could give birth in a week, Skraban said, because her milk has come in.
Details of the attack that left Petunia burned and hobbled are not clear.
"We'll never know who did this," Skraban said. There were no identifying tags on the pit bull and the shelter, which Skraban did not want to name, took her in as a stray -- meaning, they don't know who owned her.
Petunia received her first hydro-therapy treatment on Thursday. She needs constant care so the burned skin on her body doesn't become infected. Rescue workers are worried that she won't have the strength to care for her pups.
Skraban said finding abused pit bulls is not uncommon. So far this year her rescue organization has received 45 calls about destitute dogs.
"It's a Pittie" doesn't have a brick and mortar location. The group pays the freight for dogs the rescue and help to find foster homes and volunteers for recovering dogs, and finally permanent placement.
Petunia is particularly expensive. It's a Pittie is currently paying for her treatment at an animal hospital in Monee. Soon they expect they'll have to pay to feed as many as 7 puppies too boot.
The group is asking for donations to help. Saturday they plan to create a Facebook page to solicit funds, and also to host a contest to name Petunia's puppies. NBCChicago.com will update this story with a link once it's active.
Skraban said Petunia, while badly burned and hobbled, appears to be in good spirits.
"The hospital told us this morning that she wagged her tail for the first time," she said.