A second puppy with its ears cut off was taken in by the San Diego County Animal Shelter this week, and staffers said she came from the same litter as "Sunny,'' a puppy found in a Mission Valley trash bin with similar wounds.

Sunny was found on Nov. 19 in the 1200 block of Camino del Rio North, and is nearly ready to be put up for adoption. The male Labrador retriever mix was about a month old when found.

The San Diego County Department of Animal Services was informed Tuesday about the female puppy -- whose ears had also been sliced off -- by a veterinary assistant in Tijuana, who was aware of Sunny's plight from news coverage.

The puppy's wounds have healed, and she is being called "Cher'' by the shelter staff.

"This has changed the focus of the investigation,'' said Animal Control Lt. Kalani Hudson. "It appears the mutilations to the puppies' ears occurred in Mexico and we have no authority to pursue an investigation if the crime occurs outside the United States. Furthermore, this type of mutilation may not even be a crime in Mexico.''

The motivation for maiming the puppies is unclear, though animal services officials say owners of fighting dogs cut off their canines' ears so an opponent cannot latch onto them. It could also be that the ears were cut so they would resemble the popular pit bull breed.

Veterinarians will determine if Cher is healthy enough to be adopted.

Anyone interested in giving either puppy a home must fill out an adoption application and submit it to one of the county shelters by the close of business on Dec. 18. Applications are available at or may be picked up at any one of county's three shelters.