Nani is lucky to be alive.
The emaciated pit bull was discovered Tuesday afternoon in Tacony Creek Park by Luis Montalvo, who was walking his two pit bulls when they alerted him to a skeletal, feces-covered dog lying on some dirt and rocks.
"Oh my God, she was bones, literally bones," said Montalvo, 38, of Juniata Park, who offered the dog some water from a bottle. "She was trying to get up, but she couldn't."
Nani was picked up by the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia, who then reached out to Michele Schaffer-Stevens of Lilo's Promise Animal Rescue in Voorhees.
"She's like a little rag doll when you pick her up," said Schaffer-Stevens, 38, who specializes in helping starved dogs and is now fostering the 25-pound Nani back to health.
Lilo's Promise has launched an online fund-raising campaign to cover Nani's medical bills and other expenses. As of Friday night, $5,755 had been raised at www.crowdrise.com/pleasehelpnani.
The nonprofit is also offering $400 for information leading to the identification of the person responsible for Nani's condition and abandonment. The tip numbers are 856-207-7818 and 856-397-1520.
Someone "let her go without food for a month," Schaffer-Stevens said.
Nonetheless, Nani, named after a Hawaiian word meaning beautiful, is "super friendly," she said. A veterinarian said she was about 4 years old.
There is some concern Nani might have a neurological condition, so she will undergo an MRI and CAT scan. The tests alone are expected to cost $4,000, Schaffer-Stevens said.
In the meantime, Nani was spending the weekend at Schaffer-Stevens' Shore house in Anglesea along with Aladdin, another rescued pit bull who also was saved from starvation and abuse.