1. ITV Report

Emaciated dog shot in the head and left to die in County Durham field

Witnesses are asked to contact the RSPCA Photo: RSPCA

An emaciated dog has been left to die in a field after being shot twice in the head.

The thin body of a female Dogue de Bordeaux, who had recently had puppies, was found in Old Eldon, County Durham, on December 3.

Watch Kris Jepson's report here:

X-rays show she suffered a fractured skull and vets believe she would have suffered for some time before she died.

The dog was found in a field by the lane leading to Blue House Farm, off Main Road/Moor Lane in the village. It is thought her body could have been there for a couple of days.

RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent suspected that the dog had been shot after not been fed sufficiently.

"I suspect this dog has had puppies, which have drained her fat reserves as she has not being fed sufficiently and perhaps partly contributed to her extremely emaciated state.

"It appears, rather than take her to a vet, her owner or someone else has decided to shoot her.

"The first attempt hasn’t been successful, so they’ve shot her again.

"Vets believe she would not have died straight away and would have suffered a great deal.

"It’s extremely difficult to think about what this poor dog has gone through."

– RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent

The RSPCA believe she was shot with some kind of high powered air rifle.

"I suspect she wasn’t actually shot at the location, and that this happened somewhere else and she was dumped there, whether this was alive or dead we don’t know.

"As she wasn’t microchipped we have no way of tracing her owner at the moment, or the puppies that she has somewhere and who - given what has happened to their mum - I’m extremely worried about the welfare of."

– Chief inspector Gent

Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.