Abandoned dog froze to death after being left tied to water trough in Cheshire field

  • WARNING: Readers may find the images distressing


An abandoned dog has been discovered by the RSPCA, after it had been tied to a water trough in a field and left to die.

It is believed the dog was deliberately left, and the charity say he had likely frozen to death.

The neglected dog was discovered in a muddy pool of water by a member of the public on farmland near the village of Kelsall in Cheshire at about 4.30pm on Tuesday 5 December.

The neglected lurcher type dog is thought to have frozen to death. Credit: RSPCA

He was taken to a nearby vet and given the lowest possible body score condition.

The bones in his legs, hips and ribs were clearly visible and there was very little muscle tone, indicating a prolonged period of neglect.

No microchip was found.

The dog was given the lowest possible body score condition after being taken to a local vet. Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: “Based on the fact the dog was tied up and the presence of mud on his legs, we think he was probably alive when he was left in the field.

“Temperatures in the area went down to well below freezing on Monday night into Tuesday morning and because he had so little body fat, it’s likely he died from exposure.

“The images of him lying there alone in the mud are difficult to look at. It’s hard to comprehend how someone can deliberately leave an emaciated dog in circumstances like this and just walk away, but sadly all the signs indicate this is what happened.”

Calls about incidents of abandonment to the RSPCA’s emergency line are now at a three-year high, as the charity responds to an increasing number of animals being given up and dumped.

If such trends continue, it would equate to 21,417 reports over 2023.

Compared with 19,645 reports in 2022 and 17,179 in 2021.

The RSPCA is appealing to anyone with information around this incident, or dash cam footage of the area around Kelsall Road, to get in touch on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference number 1193891.


Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...