DALLAS A 4-month-old boxer mix puppy was found skinned in the yard of its southwest Dallas home last Friday. Between 60 and 70 percent of its skin is missing, Texas Humane Alliance spokeswoman Jonnie England said.

Dallas Animal Services officials are canvassing the neighborhood and have sent off forensic samples for analysis. The dog, named Isabella, is under the care of DFW Rescue Me, the same group that cared for Justice, the puppy that was burned in a parking lot in Pleasant Grove, until its death.

England says the dog is eating and her doctors remain optimistic.

However, Isabella's prognosis is guarded due to the amount of skin lost. The portion is a rectangular swath that stretches from shoulder to shoulder and extends from the base of her neck to her tail. It's possible the dog could have gotten caught under a fence or attacked by a coyote. It's also possible it was tortured by a human.

England said the family's owner called Dallas Animal Services for help. After seeing the dog's condition, they referred her to DFW Rescue Me. The family could not afford veternarian treatment so it is being donated.

England said the painful debridement process the act of removing the dead tissue has begun. Isabella will be sent to Texas A&M on Monday for the first of many skin graft surgeries, England said.

Earlier in the week, Dallas County announced it wants to establish a dedicated unit for investigating animal abuse. Should that occur, it would be the second in the state. If this investigation finds the dog was tortured at the hands of a person, the unit would investigate cases just like this.

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