A seven-week-old puppy had been found dumped in a sealed cardboard box at the side of the road in Darlington.
The dog, which is believed to be a Spaniel, was discovered by a man out walking at Bishopton Lane, Sadberge, on Sunday 5 September, at around 7pm.The walker came across the cardboard box dumped in some bushes and could hear noises coming from inside - he found the puppy and took her to a nearby vet.
The vet discovered that the puppy - who is now named Lucky - had a highly contagious skin infection called 'sarcoptic mange' and, as it was left untreated, has resulted in fur loss.
The RSPCA had been alerted to the incident, and have now issued an appeal to find the person responsible for this “callous act."
Animal rescue inspector Krissy Raine, said: "This is such a callous act - someone has made the decision to tape up this poor defenceless puppy in a box and then walk away without further thought for her. “Lucky had been left without any food or water and it was fortunate she was found or this terrified pup would have suffocated in this box frightened and alone.
Ms Raine added that they are also worried that the parents of this puppy and any siblings may also be at risk of being dumped if they also developed the infection.
She said: “I am concerned that if the parents of this puppy or her siblings are also infected with this skin condition that they may suffer a similar fate.“It is highly contagious so it is likely that some of them will also be affected with this condition."
Lucky is doing well under veterinary care and is expected to make a full recovery.
Once she has been returned to health Lucky will be found a new home.