PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities are trying to track down the person who tossed an emaciated dog out of a moving car in New Jersey and then drove off.

The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Paterson.

The driver slowed down and the passenger door opened before the shih tzu mix was tossed, according to witnesses.

The Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter rushed the dog to Oradell Animal Hospital for immediate treatment.

Officials said the animal was initially unable to walk and smelled like fecal matter and urine. It also had matted fur that covered its eyes and prevented it from seeing.

“He was just covered in what looked like almost a bird’s nest,” shelter volunteer Frannie Laurita told 1010 WINS. “His fur was so matted and so filthy that it was wrapped around his limbs, and it was wrapped around his face and his eyes weren’t visible.”

The dog weighed six pounds when it was found — a healthy weight is 20 pounds.

“Our hope is that with 24 hour care and TLC, we can give Grant a second chance at life and that his body will respond positively,” the shelter wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Officials said the person who tossed the dog out of the car could face several citations, including counts of abandoning an animal and inflicting unnecessary pain to a living creature.

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