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SAN DIEGO — A dog matching the description of a canine that was abandoned outside of an animal shelter in Rancho Santa Fe on Monday night is presumed dead after Good Samaritans found the critically injured animal in the middle of a nearby street.

Helen Woodward Animal Center on Friday said after asking for the public’s help in locating the dog that was left in front of their building shortly before 8 p.m., as shown in security footage, a woman on the neighborhood information sharing app Next Door reported seeing the injured canine around 9:30 p.m. that evening.

The animal center said at least four cars stopped to help the dog, who was found in a roadway right across from the shelter. The dog was reported to be bleeding from the mouth and head. Center officials say the canine may have been attacked by coyotes or struck by a car, though that information can’t be confirmed.

The collapsed dog was taken to a local emergency clinic; however, the canine was pronounced dead upon arrival, officials said. The veterinary hospital confirmed the arrival of the dog.

“I will never forget that dog for the rest of my life,” said Ashley Levy, one of the individuals who stopped to help the dog. “The look in his eyes will stay with me. You can tell it was an old dog and had been somebody’s pet. I’ve been crying for days. The only thing that comforts me is that so many people stopped to help. After seeing the heartlessness of the individual on the security camera, it’s good to know that there is still kindness in the world.”

Helen Woodward Animal Center said this “is a cautionary tale for those who consider giving up a pet without following proper procedures.”

For those experiencing hardships, the animal center has programs to help provide pet food, medical checkups, vaccines, medication and more for pets in need. More information on assistance can be found here.

“You can tell the dog doesn’t know why it’s been left and then to have such traumatic final moments is just heartbreaking,” said Monica Petruzzelli, a spokesperson for Helen Woodward Animal Center. “Why this person would leave the dog uncrated and exposed to the traffic, the cold and the wildlife in the area is beyond all of us. We’re truly devastated.” 

The animal center said it has attempted to file a police report regarding the illegal dumping. They are also offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help identify the individual who left the dog.