If you “adopt” or “take in” the animal, you become the owner and therefore are responsible for the animal’s care. Hopefully, a healthy animal is your reward for trying to do the right thing.
Veterinarians are routinely faced with these cases. Most will work out a satisfactory arrangement with the person who wants to pursue treatment for the animal. Defining the financial commitment for the animal at the initial visit can help avoid financial problems later on.
Making the decision to take in a stray should only be done with the same careful consideration that is involved in purchasing or adopting a new pet. Veterinary expenses are not assessed based on the method by which a pet is acquired. If you cannot accept financial responsibility for a stray animal, it should be taken to your local Humane Society or animal control office.