Severely matted dog found near railway line had been neglected for months

A 14-year-old Shih Tzu called Tilly is believed to have been deliberately abandoned, barely alive, on an embankment near a railway line in Merseyside.

The elderly dog was hypothermic and barely responsive when she was discovered by a member of the public who took prompt action by wrapping her in a towel and taking her to a vet.

Two inches of severely matted fur had to be shaved off her wet coat before she could be properly examined. She was also severely dehydrated, with overgrown claws growing into the pads and necrotic skin on her face which was maggot infested.

A scan revealed the dog was microchipped and called Tilly, although the details of her current owner had not been kept up-to-date. Sadly, no peripheral pulses could be found and vets made the decision that it was the kindest thing to do to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Tilly was found off Higher Road in Halewood on 12 May and the RSPCA has since been making enquiries after being contacted by the vets.

Members of the public are now being urged to come forward with information which could help the charity’s investigation.   

RSPCA Inspector Leanne Cooper, said, “The vets were shocked by Tilly’s horrific condition and said she was in a state of severe suffering. 

“Given her extremely matted coat and maggot infestation it’s possible she’d been like this for some time, weeks if not months.

“We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to the people who so kindly helped Tilly and ensured she got the help she needed as quickly as possible. They, like myself and the vets who treated her, were really upset to see an elderly dog in such a heartbreaking condition.

“It’s really important we get some answers and find out what happened to Tilly and I’d appeal to anyone who may have information about her to get in touch.”  

Tilly was found on the other side of a wooden fence on the edge of the embankment leading down to the railway line. It’s thought that because of the location, it would have been difficult for her to have got there by herself, particularly in the condition she was in.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the RSPCA’s appeal line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference number 01266250.

When an animal is in need, the quicker they get help the better. If you find a small pet who has been abandoned, take them directly to a local vet or rescue centre. These teams can call in the expertise of our teams if there’s evidence that the animal has been neglected or abused. 

There’s more information on how to safely handle and transport an animal on the RSPCA website  as well as details about reporting cruelty and neglect  to specialist teams.

Images: RSPCA

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