A 4-month-old puppy is recovering after being buried alive.

WJBF-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1NBkfPa ) officials at Augusta Animal Services found the mixed-breed puppy last week as it tried to dig its way out of the ground.

Veterinarian Scarlett Timmons of the Westside Animal Hospital said the male dog was nearly comatose, could not stand and struggled to eat and drink.

It appeared the dog, nicknamed Moxie, had been buried alive and suffered swelling to its head and several ant bites. Timmons said there's potential for brain damage.

Sgt. Shane McDaniel said the Richmond County Sheriff's Office no police report has been field, and the sheriff's office is not handling the case. But he added that anyone who harms an animal could face a $1,000 to $15,000 fine and jail time.

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Information from: WJBF-TV, http://www.wjbf.com/