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Hingham police receive flood of messages for abandoned dog

Carolyn Curran of the Animal Rescue League of Boston got a smooch from the pooch. David L. Ryan/Globe staff

He was left shivering on the side of a busy road in Hingham. Now the 2-year-old Maltese-type dog is stealing hearts.

Hingham police have been inundated with calls and messages about the brown-eyed pooch, who was found in a large metal crate Monday morning. By Wednesday afternoon, a Facebook post with a photo of the dog had been shared nearly 15,000 times.

“We’ve received some possible tips but countless offers to adopt the dog,” said Sergeant Steven Dearth, who has been handling the case. “We’re just hoping one of the calls leads to the owner.”

The dog was left in the cage with a blanket, leash, food, dog coat, and toys — but without identification. He had been on the roadside less than an hour when he was found.

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Pets are often abandoned but rarely in this fashion, said Carolyn Curran, who works at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which is caring for the dog.

“Someone took the effort to leave the dog in a crate with all of his things and not bring him to a shelter and surrender him,” Curran said.

The dog has no apparent signs of abuse or malnourishment and is doing well, Curran said.

“He was a little nervous upon arrival, but he is super friendly,” she said. “He wags his tail when he sees people and is obviously very cute.”

Like police, the Rescue League has received many offers to adopt the dog. But police are still trying to identify the owner.

“If the adoption becomes necessary down the road, we’ll give any relevant updates,” police wrote on Facebook. There are a number of other dogs available for adoption, the Rescue League said.

Under Massachusetts law, animal abandonment is a felony. The dog was left without tags and was not microchipped.

“An animal can be brought to organizations like ARL, a local shelter, or even a police or fire department,” the Animal Rescue League said. “There are always options, but abandonment should never be one of them.”

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Maddie Kilgannon can be reached at maddie.kilgannon@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaddieKilgannon.