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— Out of an act of cruelty came an out-pouring of lovefor an abandoned 2-year-old terrier beagle mix found with a portion of her paw missing andother pooches in need of a home on Saturday during a fundraiser and on site adoption. .

The event was held at the same Roseville Walmart, at 28804 Gratoit Ave., where the dog, now called Courtney, was found chained up Jan. 18 behind the store.

Walmart will match donations raised to help with Courtney's medical bills. The dog has needed several surgeries including having her leg amputated.

The dog, who was not at the Walmart event on Saturday, is still on the mend and is being fostered by Melanie Wittner.

"She is doing really good," said Wittner. "She went this morning and got her stitches taken out and she is getting around really well. And today she is having her first real bath."

Wittner said she has received emails and calls from folks interested in adopting Courtney from around the country and from Mexico and Scotland.

Courtney's story has tugged at the heartand wallets of animals lovers.

A Michigan-native now living in Florida, rushed a $1,000 check to Wittner so that it could be matched by Walmart.

To date, 60 applications have been submitted by those wanting to adopt Courtney.

Saturday's fundraiser was also an opportunity to adopt other animals. Six dogs from Wittner's Hopeful Heart Rescue — which also cares for cats, rabbits and ferrets — were in need of a forever-home.

Two lucky Yorkie/Chihuahua pups, Annabelle and Shelby, both six-months-old, caught the eye of one animal lover who now has to go through a rigorous background check.

In addition to money, folks dropped-off items such as laundry detergent, toys and food that will be used toward caring for animals in the care of Hopeful Heart Rescue.

Chasity Robinson, and her three children Gabriella, 10-months, Gavin, 3, and Nevaeh, 5, were petting a very sleepy chocolate Labrador puppy.

Robinson said what happened to Courtney was horrible.

"If you don't want the dog take it to shelter, don't just abandon it," said Robinson, who was also at Walmart with her father, Larry Robinson.

The elder Robinson said he has a 125-pound Rottweiler and has owned dogs all of his life. His dogsare important members of the family, he said.

It is estimated that a week before Courtney was chained outside behind Walmart, she had chewed off her own foot, most likely to escape being chained outside at another undetermined location.

Walmart employee Ray York,first spotted Courtney on Jan. 18. He brought the dog to the attention of Rebecca Boggs, Walmart co-manager.

"I went out there to see if she was vicious," said Boggs. "She just wanted to be petted and be loved. She was so sweet. I couldn't let animal control take her because they would have put her down with the injury she had."

York is happy that people are lining up for a chance to provide the dog with a home. He also hopes Courtney's story will be a call for compassion.

"I hope it helps people realize that the abuse of animals needs to stop," said York.

Meanwhile, Roseville police have released a video that appears to show two men chaining up Courtney and leaving her. The footage was filmed around 7 a.m. Jan. 18. The men, who police believed to be in their 20s, pull up in a dark-colored Chrysler 200 then take the animal from the backseat and tie her up behind the store.

Wittner has said the dog's "very friendly" demeanor with the pair suggests she was a pet.

Another animal rescue group, Guardians for Animals, an umbrella non-profit for several rescue organizations including Hopeful Heart Rescue, on Monday announced a $1,000 reward to find those responsible for the abandonment.

"She (Wittner) walks in when the rest of the world walks out," said Alexandria Whitney, founder and president of Guardians for Animals.

Efforts to cover the cost of Courtney's care and the care of other dogs of Hopeful Heart Rescue continues.

A fundraiser is scheduled at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak on Feb. 11, where Courtney is scheduled to appear. And on Feb. 22 at the Roseville Petco, 32074 Gratiot Ave., OoSueBoo Photography will take precious pictures of pets for $10 to $40. From each session $5 will be donated to Hopeful Heart Rescue.

UWatson@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2613

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