AN ABANDONED pregnant dog was left tied to a tree by its callous owners – just as it went into labour.
The Staffordshire bull terrier had given birth to the first of a litter of seven pups when she was spotted by a passing member of the public.
The two-year-old brindle bitch and her puppy were taken to an RSPCA centre where she gave birth to the second pup in the centre’s car park.
She was quickly rushed inside where the traumatised dog gave birth to a further five youngsters at the West Hatch Animal Centre, near Taunton, Somerset.
Animal bosses have admitted the dog is “incredibly lucky” to survive her ordeal and “there is never an excuse” to abandon a defenceless animal.
Caring staff at the animal centre have named the young terrier Olive and are currently looking for homes for the eight dogs.
John Pollock, an RSPCA chief inspector, said: “I have made visits to the area where this poor creature was found and have put up abandonment notices, but so far we have had received no information.
“It is incredibly lucky the dog and her puppy were found and taken to safety as anything could have happened to them out in the open and if there had been complications with the birth she would have needed urgent veterinary treatment.
“Regardless of the circumstances, there is never an excuse to abandon an animal and, if people have pets which they can’t look after for whatever reason, then help and advice is available from a number of organisations, including the RSPCA.”