NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla - A dog is on the mend after being rescued this weekend.
Someone found the boxer-hound mix in Clewiston and rushed him to the Animal Refuge Center in North Fort Myers.
A veterinarian at the center says the dog was so malnourished and sick, its body was literally eating itself.
"He's as bad as they get," said Dr. Mark F Schmidt.
When the boxer hound mix was brought in on Saturday, veterinarian Mark Schmidt says the dog had no teeth, a severe skin infection, weighed 27 pounds and was near death.
"He's lost so much weight his body was digesting it's own muscle tissue. When I first saw him. It couldn't be any worse," Dr. Schmidt said.
A woman found the dog laying on train tracks in Clewiston.
Today, the Animal Refuge Center in North Fort Myers is nursing him back to health.
Remarkably after only two days the dog, now named Phoenix is doing better.
With fluids, some food, and TLC, he's already gained eight pounds.
"He's turned a corner as we say," Dr. Schmidt told WINK News.
Shelter Director Lisa Jenkins says the dog isn't micro-chipped and has no collar.
"As of right now he has no owner and judging by his condition he was out for quite a while by himself," she said.
Animal Services in Clewiston told Jenkins no one reported the dog missing.
They believe Phoenix has been on his own for more than three months.
Since his teeth are destroyed, most likely from feeding on rocks, they can't determine his age but estimate he could be around three years old .
Jenkins hopes this story serves as a reminder to people to take care of their animals.
"It's important people realize what it takes to own an animal the responsibility of taking care of an animal," she told WINK News.
While Phoenix still has a long road to recovery, Dr. Schmidt believes he will fully heal and then will hopefully find a forever home.
For more information about Phoenix or to help pay for his medical expenses, visit http://animalrefugecenter.com/
or call them at 239 -731-3535
Phoenix's care is expected to cost several thousand dollars.