WARNING: Article contains graphic images.
The RSPCA is appealing to find the owner of a dog who was found dead tied to a post in the Church Road area of Luton.
The dog, found by a member of the public at around 8.45am on Sunday, November 10, is believed to have died from natural causes but could have been left in the cold for a number of hours on his own.
The member of the public contacted the RSPCA who collected the body and took the dog to a nearby vet.
While the cause of death has not been established, preliminary examinations show that the dog was likely suffering from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, before he died. He also had a hernia.
The dog was a male neutered rottweiler aged between eight and 10 years old. It is thought he could have been left anytime between the hours of 7pm on Saturday, November 9 and 8.45am the next day.
He had been tied up by an old seat belt.
RSPCA Inspector Lauren Bailey is investigating the incident and is keen to find the owner of the dog.
She said: “It’s really sad to think that this dog was poorly and then abandoned by his owner.
"They may have wrongly thought they were doing the right thing by leaving the dog in a public place thinking someone would find him.
“It really breaks my heart to think that he was outside there on his own during his last hours.
“I am concerned that whoever left the dog could have more animals and if they are struggling to look after them we would urge them to get in touch so that we can help - because abandoning an animal is never the right thing to do.
“This poor dog’s death is another sad example of why people should never abandon their pets and should always seek help in the first instance.
"Anyone who is struggling to cope with their pets should contact us or other charities for help.
"Our pets are sentient beings and great companions who rely on us for their health and happiness so abandoning them should never be the answer, no matter what the circumstances.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.