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McKamey Animal Center is seeking the public's help in identifying the person or persons responsible for the abandonment and neglect of a severely malnourished pit bull dog who was placed in a garbage bag and left in a dumpster while still alive.

Despite having a broken leg and being emaciated with open sores all over her body, a dog the McKamey Animal Center recently found left in a trash container is in surprisingly good spirits.

"She's wonderful," said Jamie McAloon, executive director of the center. "If you come up to her and say anything to her, her tail starts going crazy. She's really affectionate. She wants to be loved."

The center received several tips since it announced it had found the dog, who the staff named Desiree, in the 7700 block of Nautical Way in Chattanooga. The shelter is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people involved in the abandonment and neglect of the dog.

The center will follow up on each lead, and when it has sufficient evidence, it'll write an affidavit asking authorities to take legal action either through General Sessions Court or City Court, according to officials.

Also, the shelter found another dog that looks almost identical to Desiree in the same area, meaning they may be siblings. That dog is a black and white pit bull.

McAloon said this kind of abandonment happens too often, especially with pit bulls. Dogfighting is an issue in the Chattanooga area, she said, but she doesn't think Desiree and the other dog were fighting dogs.

"I think if this dog was older you may see some evidence of dogfighting," she said. "Could they have been bred and getting ready to be fought? Who knows."

The dog has been given painkillers and the center is trying to make her available for adoption. Sometimes dogs in rough situations like Desiree's succumb to injuries and never make a full recovery or die, McAloon said.

She'll get medical attention from the center with the goal of being released into the adoption pool.

"This is pretty horrific," McAloon said. "Somebody has to know. How do you see that dog and not call anybody?"

Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at ehoopfer@timesfreepress.com or @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.

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