The RSPCA is appealing for information after a dying dog was left in a layby in Hartlepool on Bonfire Night.
The white bull terrier, who was paralysed and suffering with urine scalds, was wrapped in a blanket and left at the layby between Newton Bewley and Dalton Piercy.
A motorist who pulled in to the layby, heading eastbound into Hartlepool on the A689, to make a phone call, discovered the unresponsive animal, believed to be around 16-years-old and emaciated.
RSPCA Inspector Steph Baines, said: “This was an incredibly sad discovery for the person who found this poor dog. Sadly, as she had no use of her legs, the vet who she was taken to that evening decided the kindest thing was to put her to sleep to end her suffering.
"The vet believes the dog would most likely have been unable to walk for some time due to her condition.
“I’m now appealing to anybody with information about how the dog came to be left in the layby, and who owns her.
"She was an older, white bull terrier type dog with brown patches on her face. The dog was microchipped but, on further investigation, the registered address was that of a previous owner, some 14 years ago. All we know so far is that she may have since belonged to a man named Terry.
“The layby is surrounded by farmland and there are no houses for some distance so the dog could not have got there alone; she must have been left by someone."
Insp Baines added: “It’s really sickening to think that somebody has deliberately left this poor old girl in a layby, out in the cold, on a night when there would have most certainly been lots of fireworks around. She must have been so frightened and confused, it’s just terrible.
“This sad situation is unfortunately one of many we at the RSPCA are called to investigate, and worryingly marks the beginning of what we expect to be another tough winter with a huge number of calls to us about neglected animals.”
The shocking discovery has come within weeks of the RSPCA’s launch of its ‘Love Animals, Hate Cruelty’ campaign, which aims to bring the terrible issues to light and remind people that amongst the celebrations in the build up to the festive season, a huge number of calls are being made to report neglect.
From animals left without shelter or adequate food and water, to those left with painful untreated injuries or illness, statistics show that from October 2015 to January 2016, 45,176 calls were made to the RSPCA about animals suffering due to neglect.
Anyone who has information about this latest incident in Hartlepool should contact the RSPCA appeal line number on 0300 123 8018.