Cold and covered in scars, tiny Tina was dumped at the gates of Millvale Animal Sanctuary outside Castlewellan last week.
Sanctuary owner Sharon Quinn went to pick up some boxes containing donations at the gate when she realised that one of them was moving. She opened it and was shocked to find the elderly Jack Russell terrier inside.
Tina, as she was named by volunteers, had horrific facial injuries and scabs all over her body. Her nose and ears have been badly damaged and she is very neglected.
Sharon believes that she may have been in boiling water as the scabs look like burns.
She explained: "The marks are all over her body and all over her eyes. Her nostrils are blocked and she was very emaciated.
"The vet can't tell what exactly has happened but we think someone put boiling water on her. The scabs have all gone how and she just has completely raw flesh."
Sharon rushed her to the vet for treatment and she is now recovering well at the sanctuary and volunteers will continue to bathe her wounds to help them heal.
Sharon added: "She is doing well now. She's under sedation and we are using a herbal cream, steroid injections and painkillers to help her with the pain. She's sleeping most of the time and I think she might have lost a nostril but she will hopefully be okay."
The little dog, who is believed to be between 12 and 14, will be nursed back to health and will stay at the sanctuary with Sharon for the foreseeable future.
The sanctuary is now appealing for supporters to help raise money to pay Tina's vet bills and to help them install CCTV cameras to identify anyone who abandons animals in the future.
Sharon said: "We have dogs dumped regularly here and we have had to appeal to people not to tie them up because they can hang themselves. Last Christmas we had two little Yorkies in a box. It was very cold and it was only that I saw the box move or they would have been dead by the morning.
"We want the cameras so we can see who is doing these sort of things. We might not be able to do much about it but if we get a registration number, at least we could report it."
She said that in this case, they were lucky to find Tina in time. "If I had went to bed early, she could have died from the cold. The box could have ended up on the road and she could have been run over. She shouldn't have been left there."
Sharon said she will not turn away any animal and has appealed for anyone planning to dump their animals to contact her so she can help.
She said: "My phone number is everywhere. All you have to do is come to the gate and ring me and I will take the dog. No dog has ever been refused. I want to appeal to people to stop the dumping."