"It took about a half an hour to get her unfrozen from the ground," says Patricia Trevino of the River Rouge Animal Shelter. "They had to pour warm water on her. Her two legs were frozen. The side of her face and her side, she was literally laying [sic] frozen to the ground."
No one knows how long the dog was left in that condition. She was found with her leash wrapped around her, preventing her from getting to food, water or shelter.
"The dog was incoherent, was not responsive. She didn't start crying until the water was poured on her," Trevino says.
FOX 2 is told a Good Samaritan saw the dog and called animal control, who rushed Elsa to Healthy Paws Medical Center in Westland.
"Her feet are literally bleeding tonight when she walks because they were frozen," Trevino says. "They were a block of ice. The toes were frozen together."
The treatment may be extensive, including frost bite to the ears and feet. The veterinarian at the medical center was too overwhelmed to speak with FOX 2 on camera.
"We are hoping she will make it," Trevino says. "She is not out of the woods by any means, and she may lose a leg or two."
As for the dog's owners, sources close to the criminal investigation say they were cited and will appear in court. Sources say another dog was found outside in good health.
Trevino says regardless of the investigation, the story of Elsa should serve as a warning that it is too cold for animals to be left outdoors.
"If you are the owner of the animal, you are obligated to be humane to the animal and provide adequate shelter," she says.
Donations are being taken over the phone at Healthy Paws in Westland.
"It's going to pay her bill so she can be treated and stay here as long as she needs to stay until she recovers," Trevino says.
If you are interested in making a donation, you can reach Healthy Paws at (734)-326-PAWS (7297).