Puppy recovering from severe burns

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NEW CASTLE - Burned and abandoned. That's how someone found an 8-week old puppy, left outside to die. 

The puppy was found in an alley in New Castle in Henry County.  New Castle Police are investigating how this little dog ended up the way it did, but say right now, they have no suspects.

UPDATE: Burned dog teaches children dangers of fire

The folks at the Henry County Humane Society call him Dempsey.  He's named after heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey.  But don't let his big brown eyes fool you.  "He's being cuddled all the time," says shelter director Linda Bir-Conn.

At just 10 weeks old, Dempsey has already earned his name.  "He's a little fighter," says Bir-Conn.  And he's earned a special place in people's hearts.

"Look how cute it is.  I mean, it's the cutest thing I've seen," says shelter visitor Rachel Weston.  "He's one of the most loved dogs in our community right now," adds Bir-Conn.  Ironic, when you consider what this puppy's likely been through in his short life.

"He was nearly dead when we did find him," explains Bir-Conn.

Dempsey was abandoned and severely burned on his paws, tail and stomach.  "I honestly didn't think he'd make it through the night, but he did and he's been fighting ever since," says Bir-Conn.

Dempsey's been in foster care while he heals, until he's ready for adoption.  "He's probably going to have some special needs," says Bir-Conn.  That's because Dempsey has no toes now.  They were burned off, along with part of his tail.

"He's not going to be your typical puppy. He's going to need somebody with him understanding of what his limits might be," says Bir-Conn.

The Henry County Humane Society is hoping they won't be limited when it comes to people coming forward with information about who did this Dempsey and why.  "These babies can't help themselves. We have to be their voice. We have to speak for them," adds Bir-Conn.

"I thought the dog was initially dead," says Tyrone Dausch, the New Castle resident who told Eyewitness News he found Dempsey in the alley near his girlfriend's home.

"It was lucky that I found it or it probably wouldn't have made it but a few more days," says Dausch, shaking his head.  "It was happy to see me and then scared at the same time," Dausch explains of how Dempsey was acting when Dausch picked him up from the ground.  But Dempsey doesn't need to be scared any more say the folks at the Henry County Humane Society.

"He's still got so much life and he's still so, could be such a good dog for someone," said a visitor who petted Dempsey.  And despite being named after a fighter, "He's our baby right now," says Bir-Conn.

The folks at the Humane Society say Dempsey's really a lover.