The body of a starved dog has been found “callously dumped” in Norwood Park by a dog walker.
The corpse was found during the afternoon on Thursday, March 2 in an area of shrubland near a footpath of the park that was hidden from view.
The RSPCA described the male Rottweiler as being “so thin his ribs, spine and hip bones were clearly visible”.
His body was collected by a local vet, who estimated it had been decomposing at the location for around four days.
The RSPCA has launched an investigation after microchip details revealed that the dog was sold by a breeder to someone in the London area.
The dead Rottweiler was estimated to be around two to three years of age and was a typically-coloured dark brown and tanned.
RSPCA animal rescue officer Mat Hawkins said: “This dog was callously dumped in a very thin condition.
“It was an awful discovery for the walker and it was a terrible thing to see.
“We have no way of knowing whether the dog was already dead when he was left.
“The dog was hidden from view off a pathway and it was only because the walker’s dog went into the bushes that the body was spotted.
“It’s a mystery and we know very little about the dog, but we are hoping someone may know something about the circumstances and how he came to be in this location.
“We’re hoping there will be someone who is aware of a Rottweiler like this that may have gone missing from someone’s home in the days before March 2.
“The dog was microchipped and we do know he was sold by a breeder from outside London.”
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Anyone with any information is asked to ring the RSPCA appeals line number on 0800 123 8018.
The RSPCA has revealed a 25 per cent increase in pet abandonments, which it believes has been contributed to by the cost of living crisis.
The animal charity is providing dedicated cost of living support for pet owners, including a telephone helpline on 0300 123 0650 and an online hub, which has tips and advice, including details of pet food bank schemes.