A 6-week-old puppy is recovering after being shot at least 18 times with a BB gun in South Carolina.

Police responded to a call from an apartment complex in Rock Hill from a utility worker who saw a group of 15-20 young people were playing with a black puppy, reports The State newspaper. When he checked on the dog, the worker noticed the little guy was injured and bleeding heavily.

Officers called to the scene spoke to the kids who told them, “someone who stays in the apartment complex had stabbed the puppy multiple times and shot the puppy with a BB gun,” according to the police report. (They wouldn't say who, or didn't know.)

Police took the puppy to Ebenezer Animal Hospital, where veterinarians found 18 BBs lodged in the puppy, who staff at the hospital named "Brody." Dr. Jay Hreiz, who worked on Brody, said the puppy's young age makes it too risky to put him under anesthesia to remove the BBs.

X-ray of puppy shot by BB gunThis X-ray shows more than a dozen of the BBs found in the Lab-mix puppy. (Photo: Ebenezer Animal Hospital/Facebook)

Hreiz said the dog was not stabbed but that someone mistook the BB wounds for knife wounds. He told The State that in his eight years as a vet, Brody's injuries are some of the worst he's seen in an abused animal.

"You don't really know how to respond to something like that," he said. "There's just no excuse for torturing a small, defenseless animal like that."

Brody has been stabilized with fluids, antibiotics and pain medicine, and he's remarkably doing well for all he's undergone, Hreiz said.

Because the BBs are not situated in any vital organs, they may never need to be removed, he added.

"He's really young, so he has a remarkable ability to heal at his age," he said. "Brody may be able to live a healthy normal life with all those BBs in him."

The case is still under investigation.

A local nonprofit, Project Safe Pet, is taking donations for the cost of Brody's care. Hundreds of adoption offers have already come in for the puppy, and the group says they aren't taking any more applications. In fact, WCCB-TV reports that one of the officers who rescued Brody would like to adopt him.

“He’s going to be a very good companion for somebody,” Hreiz said. “He’s so far showing a remarkable recovery, given what’s going on with him.”

Brody the puppy takes a napBrody takes a nap after a long day. Vets say he's making a remarkable recovery. (Photo: Ebenezer Animal Hospital/Facebook)

Mary Jo DiLonardo Mary Jo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.