Abandoned dog in Austin found tied to tree with 'gnarly' injury

Austin Pets Alive! says a dog with a mangled leg was found abandoned and tied to a tree. They're reminding people about available resources if you need help caring for your pet.

The labradoodle, named Independence Day, was found on July 3 by an APA! volunteer tied to a tree on the road leading to the shelter. 

His foot was mangled, and his leash was tangled, like he had been trying to get free for hours. 

"They saw that he had exposed bone, so we saw that he had essentially a really gnarly injury that was actually already infected," Luis Sanchez, director of public relations at Austin Pets Alive! said.

APA! says it seemed like someone wanted to get him the care he needed, but maybe couldn't and hoped they'd find him.

"We think that somebody took him to the vet the day before and potentially couldn't afford the vet care that was needed to heal him, so they left him here," Sanchez said.

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Independence Day's leg was amputated on Monday. People donated enough money for the surgery, and there are people interested in adopting him. 

He is microchipped, but APA! couldn't find the owner. 

They say if they do find the owner of an abandoned animal, they'll tell them about available resources, rather than hitting them with a fine if there are no signs of animal cruelty. If there are, however, they'll be referred to the Austin Police Animal Cruelty Unit.

APD says abandonment, leaving an animal without making reasonable arrangements for someone to take custody, is a class A misdemeanor.

"Pet abandonment happens a lot around Austin," Sanchez said.

APA! says they've seen 3 to 4 abandonments at the shelter in the past year. 

"We just want people to know that there are options out there before they reach that. We know it's likely hard to abandon an animal and to go through that process, but there are a lot of other resources," Sanchez said.

Resources included the PASS Program, a group to ask for assistance. There's also crowdfunding, low-cost vet care, or finding another adoptive home. 

The hope is to band together to help animals, and have a sunny outlook like Independence Day.

"As a tripod, he can live a full, happy life. It's not going to impede him from being able to coexist with other dogs or other family members," Sanchez said.

Independence Day is in foster right now with team member, and after he's medically cleared in a few weeks, he'll be available for adoption.