FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A local Merced County animal rescue group says it has been seeing an increase in severely abused animals who have been beaten, starved and, in some cases, mutilated.
For one neglected dog, Bubs the pit bull, it's hard not to fall in love with him.
The five-month-old rescue was found in south Merced with his ears cut off, possibly with scissors.
"He is not the first time we've seen it and it probably won't be the last," rescue volunteer Emily Ewing explained.
New Beginnings for Merced County Animals, a rescue group, says in the past week it has taken in seven other animals like Bubs. All of them either abandoned, abused or both.
"That's the most we've had in that time span," Ewing said.
Last year, the group rescued about 60 animals who needed medical treatment, but they're already at 30 for 2016 and the number is growing as more pets continue to trickle in.
"It's out of hand, and I don't know what the reason is," volunteer Sharon Lohman said.
Lohman says they've been reporting each case to police but there is little they can do.
"They're all concerned," she said. "It's not that they don't want to do anything, it's just if you don't have any witnesses you can't do anything. It will never hold up in the court of law."
Taking in these animals is costly for the organization. Medical bills are running them in the thousands of dollars range.
"We just got a Belgian Malinois," she said. "And she was thrown out of a truck and landed and broke the bones in her arm and it's going to cost us about $2,300."
And the group says the cost, coupled with seeing how bad some people are mistreating their animals, has taken an emotional toll on them.
"We thought the wave was over and just more came in," Ewing said.