A dog in Virginia is recovering after surgery from what vets at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue say was one of the worst abuse cases they've seen yet.

Huggles, a basset hound and beagle mix, came to the shelter earlier this month and all signs pointed to a uterine infection.

Vets thought they had solved the problem by spaying Huggles and administering antibiotics, but Huggles health began to go downhill quickly.

Huggles grew lethargic and was bleeding heavily. "The x-rays looked very strange. We had to opt for exploratory surgery, suspecting a foreign body," Homeward Trails said in a Facebook post.

An x-ray revealed something terrible. A broom handle had broken off inside Huggles during a sexual assault, causing a what Homeward Trails is calling a "horrific infection."

"I had to get up from my desk at work and compose myself because I really thought I was going to get sick," Shelly de Souza told our affiliates at WPEC.

Vets immediately planned surgery to remove the broom handle as well as a Razoo account to raise money for Huggles' procedure. They far exceeded their goal of $4,200, raising more than $5,300.

With the help of de Souza, who is fostering Huggles along with donations of strangers,she is on the road to recovery while the shelter looks for her attacker.

Animal Control of Wright County and Homeward Trails are working to compile a report on the assault, offering a $200 reward to anyone with information.