January 25, 2017 01:54 PM

His nickname “Bait Baby” was a heartbreaking reminder of what he’d been used for.

Found by police in an area of Chicago that is being investigated for dog fighting, Mr. Riley, as he’s now being called, is recovering after someone left him in a plastic bag and placed him in a garbage can, according to the Animal Welfare League.

Police tell the AWL, who is caring for the dog, that the puppy was used as a teaching device to train dogs to fight.

“This puppy is fighting for his life, suffering from puncture wounds all over his face and body,” says a post on the Animal Welfare League’s Facebook page. “He needed emergency surgery to repair his little man hood, which was practically bitten off.”

Surgery was just the first step toward healing Mr. Riley. The pup, says the rescue, is now “on a slow road to recovery our bait baby is receiving pain management and intensive care.”

According to CBS Chicago, Cook County authorities have dismantled several dog fighting rings there in recent years. Linda Estrada, the President of the AWL, said dogs used as bait tend to be much older than this one.

“I believe that when people can do something to a harmless puppy or kitten, what can they do to a human?” she told the station. “Don’t make a profit on them, find another way to make a living, but not this.”

To help fund Mr. Riley’s care, click here.

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