A neglected dog has been abandoned at the side of a road in Somerset after being used for breeding.
The RSCPA said Elsa was found in a cage in Burtle, looking dejected and alone.
A member of the public reported their discovery to the charity and the puppy was taken to RSPCA Brent Knoll Animal Centre to be checked over.
Staff said Elsa was suffering from overgrown nails and a filthy coat. Animal rescue officer Alison Sparkes said Elsa's teats were enlarged, which suggested she had given birth to 'multiple litters'.
Alison said: "It's shocking to think that someone simply intentionally abandoned her, leaving her all alone in a cage at the side of the road.
"Thankfully, she was discovered by a member of the public who was able to bring her to safety with the team at RSPCA Brent Knoll Animal Centre.
"She was dirty and smelly with overgrown nails and a filthy coat when she arrived at the shelter. She also has very large teats from probably having multiple litters and we were concerned she may have been used for breeding before being dumped."
Nearly 40,000 reports of abandoned animals were made to the RSPCA's cruelty hotline in 2021.
In Somerset, just under 700 abandoned animals were reported to the charity last year. So far this year, there have been 473, and this trend can be seen across the nation.
The RSPCA fears that the huge rise in pet ownership during Covid and now coupled with the soaring cost of living, is causing people to give up their pets.
Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer at the RSPCA, said: "We understand that sometimes the unexpected can happen - the pandemic and cost of living crisis proved that - but there is never an excuse to abandon an animal.
"There are always other options for anyone who has fallen on hard times and can no longer afford to keep their pet."