A dog is recovering in a foster home after being found emaciated, caked in feces and tied to a sign in York Region last week.

Whitchurch-Stouffville town councillor Richard Bartley discovered the abandoned dog in a ditch on York-Durham Line.

The female Shepherd mix, estimated to be about five or six years old, had open sores on both hips and other parts of her body. It’s estimated that because of the dog’s condition, she was likely kept crated and starved before being left to the elements.

“I can’t believe anyone could be so heartless and cause such suffering to another living creature,” Bartley said in a release. “I am so happy that I followed my instinct and decided to pull over.”

The dog, renamed Bella by her foster family, was checked over by a veterinarian, given antibiotics and a much-needed bath, and is now recuperating from her injuries.

The mayor of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Wayne Emerson, is hoping that authorities will be able to find out who abandoned the dog.

“I don’t think the dog would have survived the night without water or food and probably would have been attacked by coyotes or other predators,” he said. “I hope whoever is responsible for this is caught.”

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact animal control services at 905-640-1900 or 1-855-642-8696.