PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A dog is on a long road to recovery at a South Florida shelter after a woman found her with a giant slash on her body.

Hunter may be wagging her tail now that she is being nursed back to health, but this past week, the sweet canine was found badly injured and abandoned in West Hollywood, near the Florida Turnpike.

Cindy Hunt, who spoke with 7News on Sunday, said she was alerted about the injured animal.

“I got a text from my neighbor saying that there was a very badly injured dog,” she said.

Hunt said she grabbed the poor pup and saw the gash on her back, near her neck. She became worried that someone hurt the dog on purpose.

“They feel somebody slashed her with a machete,” said Hunt.

Hunt said she rushed Hunter, a Stafford Terrier mix, to the Sunshine Animal Hospital in Pembroke Pines, where veterinarians got to work right away.

“[A vet] did surgery, and now she also needs [anterior cruciate ligament] surgery,” she said, “So the bill is going to be well over $10,000.”

On Monday, 7News cameras captured Hunter, her tail still wagging, as a veterinarian at the animal hospital walked her.

“Here, you see that she’s limping on her back left leg, so this is the leg where she has the ACL rupture,” said the veterinarian, “so you see it’s kind of dangling, she can’t really use it very well.”

Hunt called I Heart Animal Rescue, where its co-founder, Cindy Mucciaccio, learned of the vicious conditions the animal endured.

“It looks like a knife right across the whole entire back of the neck,” said Mucciaccio.

Veterinarians believe Hunter’s knee injury could be a result of being hit by a car. However, they can’t explain how or why Hunter sustained the slash on her neck. Police are now investigating a possible case of animal abuse.

Mucciaccio said she named the dog Hunter, in part for the Brady Hunter Foundation, which was quick to step up and help with some of the costs.

“We were immediately compelled to step up to the plate and help this innocent animal, this courageous canine, as best as we could,” said Paige Bresky with the Brady Hunter Foundation.

But Mucciaccio said that for injuries like the one Hunter suffered, and for other pets that need help, I Heart Animal Rescue needs help from the public.

“We need donations so we can keep paying all the bills we’re going to have,” she said.

As for Hunter, the hope is to get her better so she is able to live a pain-free life in a loving home.

“The surgery went very well. She’s really good, she ‘s going to have the ACL surgery this week,” said Hunt, “They think she is only 2 to 3 years old, so she should recover fine.”

To find out more about I Heart Animal Rescue, or if you would like to make a donation, click here. You may also text their rescue line at 954-501-0636 or support them via Link In Bio on their Instagram page.

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