THIS is Frosty the dog who was dumped in the cold by his heartless owner amid a staggering rise in pets being abandoned on the streets.
Rising numbers of dogs are being left on the streets with a range of medical conditions like severe broken bones and even cancer because owners refuse to pay for veterinary treatment.
The number of dogs picked up by Hartlepool Borough Council rose by around 25 per cent last year, from 281 in 2010-11 to 348 in 2011-12.
Dog wardens and animal experts from the RSPCA say they are seeing rising numbers of dogs being found with badly broken bones, cancerous tumours and abscesses, as well as seeing a rise in cases where pedigree dogs have been dumped because they have congenital conditions due to their breed.
It comes after council wardens picked up two dogs in Hartlepool within a week last month with severely broken legs.
One dog, Dougie, was found in Mason Walk, Hartlepool, with both of the bones in one of his legs snapped leaving him needing external pins fitted.
He has had an operation to fix his leg after the RSPCA and Jacqui Paterson Vets in Stockton come to the rescue and agreed between them to fund and carry out the operation and care that Dougie needed.
The other, Twinkle, was thrown over a wall when it was eight-weeks-old and was cared for by the vets after the Dogs Trust stepped in to pay for treatment when it was also found with both of the bones broken in one of its legs.
It comes after the Mail launched the Give a Dog a Home campaign to highlight the plight of dogs left abandoned on the streets and help find them a new home.
Animal welfare bosses say help is out there if people find themselves in difficulties and are warning that anyone who dumps a dog on the streets could face a £5,000 fine and up to six months in prison.
Helen Beaman, senior environment officer at the council, said: “Not only are we getting an increase in stray dogs, but we are also getting an increase in those coming in with injuries.
“We are seeing them with abscesses and breaks and in a state where they have long-term problems and they have been left on the streets because owners cannot get them looked after at a vets.”
Lisa Hogg, of the Sunderland, Hartlepool and South Tyneside branch of the RSPCA, said: “We are seeing more cases like this lately. At the end of the year we normally see a slight upturn in calls, but it was last year.
“If I have 15 calls a day, two or three are people that don’t want their animals.
“It is such a difficult climate with the ecomony and we also get people that are sick of their dogs because they have grown up or they are not the dog they used to be.”
She added: “There are organisations such as ourselves that will help people, but they have to ask rather than get into the position where they are going to throw them out.
“We are here to help and we have some finances available, we can get emergency treatment for an animal and take it from there.
“Sometimes it seems worse than it really is and once they get to a vets it is not as bad as it could be.”