"I kept hearing (the dog), so I had to walk over there," said neighbor Marylou Rotrock. "And I'm not one that goes over on other people's property. Something told me I had to."
The Michigan woman found a 10-year-old chow mix nicknamed Elsa by her rescuers, frozen to the ground and prompting her to act.
"There was no food in the bowl and some of the excrement had plastic bag pieces in it," Rotrock said, "So these dogs were eating anything they could."
The dog was taken to Healthy Paws for treatment. At last check they've received more than $1,000 in donations and say Elsa is making great progress. She will likely keep three of her four paws.
"The owner said he put the dog out at 5 a.m. and we responded somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 am," Ecorse Police Chief Mike Moore said.
According to police, initially the owner was just cited, but detectives took a further look at the case and decided to pursue felony charges of animal cruelty.
"It's been some brutal weather here we are talking -10 below, -11 below," Moore said. "And it doesn't take long for animals to freeze. You have to take them in very quickly."
Rotrock said she isn't buying the owner's story.
"I don't think he's been there for the last few days," she said. "And that's when it was so frigid. So those dogs may have been there for days? They have been, they never come in."
To contact Healthy Paws, call (734) 326-7297 or CLICK HERE.