BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — The Belmont County dog warden is seeing more and more cases of sick and injured pets being abandoned by their owners.

Lisa Williams says people might have responded to an ad in the paper that said “free to a good home,” without realizing that a pet is a lifetime commitment, and that vet care is a part of it.

Right now at the shelter, they have a bulldog they’ve named Muffin, that was abandoned and running loose with serious injuries that were becoming more infected every day.

“Muffin appeared on somebody’s doorstep when it was 25 degrees one night, on a township road,” said Williams. “She was bleeding, her face and head all swollen. She had been attacked previously by something. The vets seemed to think it had happened a month or month and a half prior.”

Muffin is now recovering at the shelter.

Her vet bill was $800 and she required antibiotics and drainage tubes.

Williams urges people to plan ahead before adopting a pet, realizing that vet care is expensive and it’s not optional.

She says you can get a credit card like Care Credit that’s specifically for vet care, or you could set aside $10 a month in special savings account for vet care.

She says the shelter is specifically there to care for strays.

Now she sees people claiming they’re bringing in strays they have found when it’s clear that they are simply giving up their pets.

She says she’s seeing more dogs than ever coming in with skin infections, injuries, and illnesses.

Muffin the bulldog is recovering well, and will soon be up for adoption.

They say she is young and friendly but strong and stubborn about going where she wants to go on her walks.

For more information, the phone number at the Belmont County Animal Shelter is (740) 695-4708.