A litter of 10 puppies has been found dumped in a lay-by.
The 10-day-old Staffordshire bull terrier pups were found abandoned on Saturday evening in a plastic box in Titchfield Lane near Southampton.
They were rushed to a vet where they are receiving immediate treatment due to being completely reliant on hand-rearing, the RSPCA said.
Leaving such young puppies exposed like this without the mum they so desperately need risked their lives
RSPCA inspector Charlotte Coggins, who is investigating for the animal welfare charity, said: “It’s estimated the puppies are around 10 days old. They are tiny, they don’t yet have their eyes open and need help feeding.
“Thankfully they are now getting the care they need and we hope they will all make a good recovery.
“We are very worried about the welfare of the mother dog as she will no doubt be really missing her pups, and could be suffering from mastitis after recently having so many puppies.
“I assume as they’d been left in the lay-by by the person responsible in the hope they would be found and helped.
“However, leaving such young puppies exposed like this without the mum they so desperately need risked their lives.
“Anyone with any information can call me in complete confidence on our inspectors’ appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”