The once proud Dog de Bordeaux was left looking like a pitiful skeleton when it was callously dumped dead in a gateway.
By rights, the male mastiff should have weighed around 10 stone but when he was found his ribs were poking through his fur and his bulk had wasted away.
He was a fraction of his healthy weight. RSPCA staff witness acts of cruelty on a daily basis but even experienced animal welfare workers have been left shocked after the dog’s body was found on Tuesday.
The dog, aged between four and six years, had been dumped in Rowley Lane, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, covered in mud and showing signs of not eating for three weeks.
“It was absolutely horrific to see him lying by the side of the road, soaking wet and covered in mud,” said Anna White, who is manager of the RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre in Potters Bar,” He was the skinniest dog I have seen in more than 20 years.
“It made me feel so desperately sad to see him chucked out like a piece of rubbish with as little thought as that. And it makes me furious that someone can be so cruel.”
The vet who examined the dog’s severely emaciated body believes the animal had died between one and three days before his body was found and could have been starved for up to three weeks.
RSPCA Inspector Natalie Bartle is appealing for anyone who may have seen the body being dumped at the site to come forward.
The dog is described as male, brown and unneutered. He had neither a microchip nor a collar.
“This is an extremely sad story and must have been a very upsetting discovery for the member of public who stumbled across this poor dog’s body, just dumped with complete disregard,” said Inspector Bartle.
“The dog’s body has been examined by a vet who is of the opinion that he has starved to death. The vet found no other external injuries or signs of trauma.
“This case is absolutely awful. I’ve not seen a dog in such a bad condition for a long, long time.
“There is no acceptable excuse for owning an animal and allowing it to deteriorate to this condition.
“I am desperately appealing for witnesses to come forward in this case. Someone, somewhere must know who this poor dog belonged to and how he came to be dumped like this.”