An RSPCA inspector was moved to tears by the remains of a dead puppy at a Doncaster roadside.
The emaciated Staffordshire bull terrier was dead inside a cage when it was found on the side of a road near Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
The-eight-month old dog was surrounded by rotting human food which had clearly been pushed through the bars or thrown into the crate, say inspectors.
The items of food in the cage included bread, chips, chicken nuggets and meatballs.
He was found by a cyclist on a grass verge on High Common Lane, in the village of Austerfield, at 12.35pm on Thursday afternoon.
Devastated RSPCA inspector Sara Jordan said: “I’m usually pretty good at not getting upset - you have to be doing this job.
“But this poor puppy has had me in tears.
“There is strong possibility he was still alive when he was dumped.
“A large piece of orange fabric had been draped over the crate and it appears that he’d pulled part of it inside.“
“The crate was utterly filthy, itself rusty, but inside was an absolute nightmare. There was old compacted and fresh faeces, and the poor pup was covered in it.
“There was a bit of foam in the crate, which may well have started out as a pillow or bed.
“He must have been living in the crate for weeks.”
As well as the orange fabric, which was also covered in faeces, a black single bed sheet was found at the location, and a bottle of water.
So far, the RSPCA has been able to establish that the puppy was born in February and microchipped to a breeder in Pontefract who homed him in April.
“It’s very distressing to think about what this poor pup went through in his short life,” said inspector Jordan.
“He’s obviously been badly neglected and suffering for a long time, but - if he was still alive which I believe he probably was - to be abandoned like this and die alone in this crate on the side of a road is heartbreaking.
“I want to hear from anyone who has any information about who owned him, or who saw anything at all that might help. Please call me on the RSPCA inspector appeal line 0300 1234 8018.”