KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- (Warning: This story and video has imagery that some may find difficult to look at. Viewer discretion is recommended.)
Rescuers say it's one of the worst cases of abuse they've ever seen. A dog with chemical burns on her face and inside her throat is now struggling to survive. A Craigslist ad may have been the one thing that saved her.
Gidget and Fidget happily play around and get lots of cuddles from the rescuers at Unleashed Pet Rescue.
They're the lucky puppies. Bridget, another puppy in their litter, is in bad shape.
"They found it to have chemical burns all over its head, face, and inside of its mouth, throat, and down to its stomach," said Danielle Reno, of Unleashed Pet Rescue
Vets say the chemical burns could be caused by bleach. Rescuers say they found out about Bridget and her sisters from a Craigslist ad, offering free puppies that had been abused.
Someone who knew the owner turned the labs over to Unleashed. While rescuers can't say for sure, they believe Bridget was indeed abused.
"I don't know a dog that would voluntarily put its face in some bleach and then drink some," Reno said.
The rescuers say, other puppies may not have been lucky enough to survive.
"Three is awfully small for a lab to have, so it's horrifying to think of what could have happened to the others in the litter," Reno said.
Bridget is recovering from surgery to remove a piece of metal from her stomach, and she's taking nourishment through a feeding tube.
"I'm just glad we got little Bridget when we did and could get her the care she needs," Reno explained.
Information about the owner has been given to police and they are investigating. Meantime, an ophthalmologist will examine Bridget Tuesday to determine if she'll be able to see again. The medical bills for Bridget's care are already over $5,000.