The people at the animal rescue group, Partners for Pets, want to know what happened to Ruby, the pit bull missing part of a lower leg.
They are even offering a $1,000 reward for information.
Ruby was found on New Year's Day by a couple of kids walking along Maryville Road in Mitchell, said Lisa McCormick, founder and director of Partners for Pets.
"They smelled her before they saw her," McCormick said.
That is because the lower part of Ruby's right front leg was gone and the remaining flesh was rotting, creating an awful smell.
The kids called the Madison County Sheriff's Department, which called in the animal control people who took her to a vet.
"They called us and we picked her up," McCormick said. "She went to Horseshoe Lake Animal Hospital where they cleaned the wound. They thought the wound appeared to be two to three days old."
Ruby had to wait several days but had surgery Monday to remove the injured leg.
"She needed to gather strength," McCormick said. "She gained eight pounds and really perked up."
The surgery was successful and Ruby is recovering.
But McCormick still wants to know what happened.
"It appeared to be a clean cut," she said. "We're really not sure what happened."
She speculated that it might have been run over by a train or maybe had a wire wrapped around it that caused the wound.
"But we keep coming back to it certainly looks intentional," McCormick said. "Someone cut her leg off and then dumped her. She's a pit bull and so often they are abused."
McCormick said anyone with information can call the shelter at 618-540-7387 or the Madison County Sheriff's Department Investigation Unit at 618-692-0871.
She said Ruby has already gotten a pretty good following on the organization's Facebook page, Partners4Pets.
Ruby will spend time healing in a foster home but probably will be available for adoption later.
Have a column idea? Call Wally Spiers at 618-239-2506 or 800-642-3878; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.