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This is a discussion on Help! within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; There?s this dog I?ve seen wandering area but this is the first time I?ve got him to approach me. Out where I live you never ...

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Old 10-31-2017, 12:53 PM
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Help!

There?s this dog I?ve seen wandering area but this is the first time I?ve got him to approach me. Out where I live you never know if a dog isn?t owned or a stray because everyone lets their dogs wander. This dog has a collar but he is EXTREMELY THIN. I can see his leg bones, not sure what they?re called. And his feet are stuck out at weird angles and all swollen, he has cuts all over. He won?t stop crying but he is sweet as can be.
Does this sound like abuse or like a dog that?s been lost for a long time? Something I struggle with is he always walks along the roads so someone else HAS to have called and returned him before so why is he out wandering again?
Also to be noted we live in a desert, it gets HOT and there?s not much water. He didn?t drink when I offered.
Sorry this post is all over the place I?m stressed!

TL;DR Skinny dog with messed up paws. Exaughsted. Need immediate vet? Sound like abuse? Or just lost?
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:42 PM
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There is no way to know if it's one or the other based on current condition alone.

Best thing to do is take him to a shelter and/or vet to scan for a microchip. Check with all local shelters, animal control, vet clinics, etc. to see if they are aware of a lost dog matching his description. If not, give them your contact information incase a potential owner comes in looking.

Also check your state laws. In many locations you actually have to attempt to find an owner in order to legally keep or rehome any found dog. Some may actually require the dog be turned over to a shelter or animal control for a set period of time.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:47 PM
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Whether he's lost or abused he certainly needs help. Are you able to take him in? If not could you take him to a rescue? If he belongs to someone they will find him if they really care (it doesn't sound as though they do) I'm sure you'd never forgive yourself if you found him by the side of the road one day.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:00 PM
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Thank you for the advice. We’re keeping him in our cool garage right now and will try to get him to a vet ASAP. We are also going to post him on the local Facebook page. We’re just super nervous it’s a case of negligence as an equal amount of weird and cruel people live out here as friendly and caring folks.
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