The RSPCA has shared a heartbreaking image of an abandoned dog who was tied to a water trough in a field and left to die.
The body of the severely emaciated animal was discovered in a muddy pool of water by a member of the public on farmland near the village of Kelsall in Cheshire at about 4.30pm on Tuesday (5 December).
The tan-coloured dog, believed to be a lurcher, is thought to have been deliberately dumped and is likely to have frozen to death.
He was taken to a nearby vet and given the lowest possible body score condition. The bones in his legs, hips and ribs were clearly visible and there was very little muscle tone, indicating a prolonged period of neglect. No microchip was found.
The RSPCA was contacted about the incident and is appealing to anyone with information or dash cam footage - possibly from Kelsall Road - to get in touch.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said:
“Based on the fact the dog was tied up and the presence of mud on his legs, we think he was probably alive when he was left in the field.
“Temperatures in the area went down to well below freezing on Monday night into Tuesday morning and because he had so little body fat, it’s likely he died from exposure.
“The images of him lying there alone in the mud are difficult to look at. It’s hard to comprehend how someone can deliberately leave an emaciated dog in circumstances like this and just walk away, but sadly all the signs indicate this is what happened.”
The charity is appealing for anyone with first-hand information about who is responsible to get in touch on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference number 1193891.
Calls about incidents of abandonment to the RSPCA’s emergency line are now at a three-year high, as the charity responds to an increasing number of animals being given up and dumped.
Already this year, up to the end of October, the animal welfare charity has received 17,838 reports of abandoned animals across England and Wales - which, if such trends continue, would equate to 21,417 reports over 2023. This compares with 19,645 reports in 2022 and 17,179 in 2021.