A terrier cross dog had to be put down after being found abandoned on the side of a busy Bury St Edmunds road late at night.
Becky Dores was on her way home from work last Thursday when, at around 9.50pm, she saw someone holding a dog by a parked vehicle on Bury Road.
She was with her 15-year-old son Jasper who became so concerned about the animal that she turned her car around.
She said: “I started to feel sicker and sicker. I turned around and all of a sudden this dog came running out in front of us. It nearly got run over because traffic coming towards us wasn’t slowing down.”
“It was heartbreaking, I was gobsmacked. We could tell it hadn’t been looked after, its fur was matted and it smelled so badly. It hadn’t been loved for a long time.”
She contacted the RSPCA and Mike Howell, dog rehoming coordinator for West Suffolk RSPCA, was with her within 10 minutes. The next day, a vet discovered the dog had a large tumour and it was put to sleep.
“If people are worried about vet bills, they can come to us and we can help,” said Mr Howell, convinced money was to blame.
“I was furious with the owner and upset, there’s no excuse for it. If anybody recognises the dog I’d like to hear from them. It’s a prosecutable offence should the owner be found.”
Miss Dores said: “We used to have a dog and we have been through poor times but the animal still got fed – you don’t abandon them do you? Being an animal lover I don’t know how people can do it.”
Figures released by the RSPCA show that from April-September this year, it received 212 complaints of abandoned animals in Suffolk, compared with 197 during the same period the previous year.
Last week, a kitten was found abandoned in Barnham. She was too young to be away from her mother and died two days later.
To report incidents involving cats, call 0845 2002309. For dogs and other animals, call 01284 703807.
The emergency 24 hour RSCPA hotline is 0300 123999.