TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – What started as a tragic case of neglect and abuse of a puppy, has now turned into a happy ending.

Opal, a 12-week-old pitbull/mix, was brought into Ollie’s Canine Rescue in Terre Haute at the beginning of November.

“Two ladies came in that said they had witnessed Opal being thrown out or tossed out of a vehicle in front of them, so they stopped and picked them up,” Tom Kuhl, Owner of Ollie’s Canine Campus, said.

Kuhl said this is unfortunately something they see all too often, and Opal was another case of neglect.

“She was very malnourished, she had some intestinal parasites that needed to be taken care of through medication but other than that, other than being malnourished and scared and frail, amazingly she was in decent condition for looking so bad,” Kuhl said.

Luckily, adoption coordinator Emily Turner had fostered dogs before and was willing to take in Opal right away.

“Opal first came in and I was here and what I thought was ‘I need to get food in this dog right now.’ but it’s kind of difficult when they’re super malnourished because you can’t just give them all they want right then and there, you have to do it slowly,” Turner said.

Photo of Opal when she was first brought into Ollie’s Canine Campus

Kuhl said, unfortunately, a case like this is not foreign to them and often happens daily.

“We get calls constantly, daily from people wanting to surrender dogs for one reason or another. It’s heartbreaking that we can’t do more because of limited space, and limited funds. We’ve taken in so many dogs these past couple of weeks that have medical conditions and literally have spent thousands of dollars treating these dogs at the vet to get them back to health,” Kuhl said.

As we head into the rest of the holiday season, Kuhl said this serves as a reminder to refrain from giving someone a puppy as a gift unless you’re sure the owner can handle it.

“The holidays are a bad time to gift puppies and dogs out because, you know, they become a disposable item and they’re not. They’re family,” Kuhl said.

The good news? With around-the-clock care and a whole lot of love, Opal is going to be just fine.

“After a week it was a complete turnaround, she was already a whole different dog and after two weeks she’s already fat and happy and it’s been great,” Turner said.

Opal has a family lined up already, and she’ll go to them in a couple of weeks once she’s ready.

However, Ollie’s Canine Campus still has multiple dogs that need a forever home.

You can more information on the dogs by visiting their Facebook page, or by calling 812-814-4553.