By Andrea Lucia

Panther the dog was found abandoned in a south Dallas backyard. (Andrea Lucia/Twitter)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A pit bull rescue group is puzzled over how a dog found abandoned in a south Dallas backyard lost her leg. The Love Pit is crediting a pair of teens for saving the animal.

“It was horrible to watch,” said 17-year-old Dominique Delgado, who said the dog, named Panther, belonged to her relative.

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“Whenever I was here, I’d feed the dog, but secretly… because we didn’t have that much food,” she said, explaining her family would get upset when she gave some of that limited food to the dog.

After a month in south Texas, Delgado says she came home last week to find Panther’s owner gone and the dog abandoned and suffering.

“She was really, really skinny and her leg… Just looking at it made me cry,” she said.

Panther’s back leg had become tightly tangled in wire. According to Delgado, her paw was dangling, only loosely attached by skin, which eventually fell away.

Delgado’s friend, 16-year-old Gabby Garcia, sent her friend at the Love Pit a picture of Panther, hoping to find help.

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“Immediately when I saw it, I went, ‘Oh my God!’ I mean, how do you not when you see a picture like that with an open bone and leg missing?,” said Aften Bell.

The group brought Panther to Mercy Animal Clinic in Garland, emaciated, covered in fleas, and bleeding from her now severed leg.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen. This is. and I’ve seen bad. And she’s pretty bad. But we’re going to get her back in shape,” said clinic manager, Nicole McCoy.

The Love Pit is now raising money for Panther’s care.

She is scheduled to undergo amputation surgery on Monday to remove more of the injured limb.

Already, though, her rescuers say she’s showing signs of improvement.

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“It’s very overwhelming to see her now, doing better,” said Garcia.