By John Lauritsen

ASKOV, Minn. (WCCO) — A rescue organization is calling a dog found in a St. Paul alleyway “a Christmas miracle.”

Rosabella was locked in a metal crate during the coldest day of the year when a Ruff Start Rescue volunteer rescued her. Since then, she has gone through an amazing transformation.

READ MORE: Good Question: How Do Trees Know When To Bloom?

“The dogs that we predominately foster [are] medical cases. Amputations, significant mange, porcupine quills, and you name it, it’s been through our house,” said Breanna Jensen.

But this is the first time Breanna has seen a case like this one.

“If she hadn’t been found that day, she would have died,” said Breanna.

A picture taken on Dec. 6 shows Rosabella’s condition the day she was rescued. The temperature dipped to 4 degrees that day, and someone had locked the Pit Bull-Terrier mix outside, in a metal crate.

“She was discarded like garbage. She was surrounded by garbage bags,” said Breanna. “Obviously she was emaciated and dehydrated and just on her last leg, honestly.”

READ MORE: Minnesota Companies Mining Gold From Nostalgia For Decades Gone By

Rosabella (credit: Breanna Jensen)

When Ruff Start Rescue took Rosabella in and posted her picture on their website, Breanna jumped at the opportunity to be her foster mom.

“Right now she’s on three small meals a day,” said Breanna.

At their Askov home, they got Rosabella on a special diet and on the road to recovery. In the two weeks since she was found, Rosabella has gained about 10 pounds. And on Monday afternoon, she officially became available for adoption.

She has splayed feet from living in a crate, but otherwise her personality — and her perky ears — are back. It’s an amazing transformation in such a short amount of time. She’s a happy dog now, looking for a happy home.

“She’s playful and she’s fun. She likes to run around the yard. She’s getting along really well with our other dogs. She is just the sweetest, little girl in the whole world,” said Breanna. “Our little Christmas miracle.”

MORE NEWS: After Her Kids Were Hacked, Cybersecurity Engineer Writes Children's Book

As of now, investigators aren’t sure who left Rosabella in the alley. Ruff Start Rescue is taking donations to help Rosabella and other dogs.

John Lauritsen