An emaciated dog with sores on his body was found tied to a tree in a park near Manchester.
The frightened dog, named Murphy by his rescuers, was found at around 7am on Saturday 3 April in Hurst Wood near Clifton Country Park in Radcliffe, Bury.
The American bulldog-cross was so emaciated that his spine and ribs were visible. He also had pressure sores on his hips and ankles, and a rash all over his body.
The member of the public who found him took him for urgent veterinary treatment and he is now recovering from his ordeal at the RSPCA Preston and District branch, where he has put on more than 1.5kg (3.3lb) in weight in two weeks.
Warning: contains some upsetting images
Mark Allen, the branch manager, said: “Murphy weighed just 16.6kg (approx 2st 9lb) when he arrived, around 10kg (approx 1st 8lb) under the weight he should be for a dog of this breed.”
Appeal to find owner
The RSPCA is keen to trace the person responsible and investigations so far suggest it is thought the owner lives locally.
They are now asking people living in the area to check any CCTV and for motorists who were driving nearby to check dash cam footage in the hours leading up to Murphy being found.
RSPCA inspector Jess Araujo, who is investigating for the animal welfare charity, said: “I am keen to trace the person who neglected and starved poor Murphy before tying him to a tree and simply walking away.
“It’s heartbreaking that there are irresponsible people who simply do not care for their pets and dump them like rubbish when they no longer want them.
“I am appealing for anyone with any information on who owned Murphy to get in touch as he is a distinctive looking dog and I feel someone must know something.
“I also would like motorists in the area at the time to check their dash cam footage and for any residents nearby to also check their CCTV as I feel the owner lived fairly close to where Murphy was dumped and knew the area.”
- Anyone with information should call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.