UPDATE: Rescued puppy needs more operations before being adopted

A 3-month-old puppy that was likely tortured for weeks before being tossed from a moving car will need additional procedures before being put up for adoption, his rescuer said.

Elle Heaton, a Midtown woman who took the dog in after it was found abandoned in a Smyrna apartment complex, said the puppy has suffered complications from weeks of abuse.

Veterinarians believe the dog may have been burned with acid repeatedly before being thrown from the car. 

RELATED: Puppy tortured for weeks, thrown from moving vehicle, rescuer says 

On Monday evening, Heaton rushed the dog to a 24-hour vet for emergency surgery after a large hole opened in its stomach. The injuries were so severe that the puppy had its genitals amputated, Heaton said.

Additionally, an acid burn on the dog’s neck was so extensive that it created a hole in the tissue and into the jaw, Heaton said, requiring yet another emergency procedure. 

Doctors initially named the dog “John Doe,” but Heaton told AJC.com she has since named the puppy Rue, which is French for “street.”

She thinks the name is appropriate since that’s where the dog was found. 

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the dog’s medical expenses has raised nearly $11,000 in eight days, but Heaton isn’t sure that’s enough to cover all the procedures. 

“He had surgery (Wednesday) and was there overnight, but he had some complications so they’re going to put him back under,” Heaton said. “We have met our $10,000 goal, but I think we’ll surpass that in bills very quickly.” 

Heaton said she’s thrilled with the show of support she’s gotten since taking the dog in, and even received a call from Georgia first lady Marty Kemp, who offered to help spread the word. 

“She also wants Rue and I to attend some of her animal adoption events when he gets better,” she said. “It’s nice to have someone in that position who can support you and help get the word out.”

Heaton said the dog will likely remain at the vet’s office through the weekend, but that he needs additional surgeries and has “a long way to go.”

“We are grateful to have all this support so we can get him on the other side of this and he can finally know what it feels like to have a loving home,” she said. 

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