Five pit bull puppies are being cared for after their mother died from severe abuse.
Several kind souls stepped in to take of 3-year-old Petunia, after a family initially found the badly burned and beaten pup wandering the streets of south suburban Park Forest.
For two weeks, Debbie Wilke from "It's a Pittie Rescue" along with a team of vets and specialists tried everything they could to save Petunia.
"I've seen several incidences, but this is the worst. This is the worst I've ever seen," says Wilke. "All of us fell madly in love and she was just an amazing dog and unfortunately we lost her on Sunday."
She gave birth to ten pups, but sadly, only five survived: Huckleberry, Caine, Tulip, Jasmine and Snapdragon–-all named after flowers, just like their mother. Despiteall of the odds against them, doctors are hopeful these pups will pull through.
The staff at the Animal Wellness Center of Monee grew very close to Petunia and her litter.
"I love all my patients," Dr. Lynlee Wessels says. "I try not to get too attached to them, but this one, she was different. Despite what she went through she was so kind and so gentle."
Debbie Wilke is now nursing the pups who are just 12 days old. She hopes Petunia's life will bring new light to the ongoing battle against animal cruelty.
"I know everybody talks about pit bulls having aggression, but most of the times they're the victim," Wilke says. "I think about her all the time. This is for her."
The reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for abusing Petunia is now over $3,000.
Mama Petunia, who has become the face of animal cruelty, also has a Facebook page.