By Andrea Lucia

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With a rusted can wrapped around her throat, the dog, now named Olivia, was slowly starving, when she arrived at Dallas Animal Services Sunday.

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Employees there peeled apart the metal slicing deep into her skin to find her battling infection, too.

“The can had likely been over her neck for over a month,” said Melody Hamilton, with Animal Allies of Texas, the rescue group now overseeing Olivia’s care.

(credit: Allied Animal Services)

Hamilton isn’t sure how the can got around the dog’s neck, but she has her suspicions.

“I don’t think she just slipped this on. This wasn’t her looking for a meal,” she said. “I think someone put it on, and I can’t imagine why, except to be sadistic and cruel.”

Olivia, though, wasn’t alone, when an animal advocate found her.

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Standing guard over her was another dog, rescuers named Joshua.

“He was standing right by her side as she was laying on the ground,” said Jody Jones, of Dallas Animal Services.

Healthy and well-nourished, Joshua doesn’t appear to have come from the same home as Olivia, but somehow, along the way, he became her friend, maybe even her protector.

“I’m sure Joshua is what caught the passerby’s attention,” said Jones. “And, as the rescuers took the dog into the vehicle, Josh was more than happy to go along for the ride.”

With Olivia still struggling, it’s hard to tell how the story will end.

“My hope and prayers is that she survives,” said Hamilton.

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