CALLOUS owners left a severely ill dog to die in a country lane.
The Mastiff was discovered near a Fife farm and was in such a poor condition it later had to be put down.
Experts think the male animal, which was thought to be around five years old, could have been left to suffer a heart complaint for some time.
The disease had caused his body to swell up so much that he looked like a pregnant bitch.
Animal charity, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) were called to the roadside at Bickramside Farm, Oakley, near Dunfermline on Monday night (Sept 19) after a member of the public spotted the collapsed dog.
Inspector Louise Seddon said, “I arrived just after 7pm to find the dog completely flat out. He wasn’t even able to lift his head, but heartbreakingly he wagged his tail as I approached.
“It was clear he was in a great deal of distress as his breathing was very laboured and his stomach was so swollen he looked like a pregnant female.
“The dog was around three to five years old and of mastiff, large breed type. A mark around his neck indicated that he had been wearing a collar up until recently.
“As he was unable to walk we think he was driven to this remote, dead-end location, which is known locally as a spot for fly-tipping, and then dumped.
“He was found at 6.45pm but could have been lying there for several hours beforehand.”
Despite the best efforts of a vet, it was decided it would be kinder to put the dog to sleep.
Inspector Sneddon continued: “I rushed him to the local vets where he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. The swelling to his stomach and back legs was from a build up of fluid as a result of poor circulation caused by his diseased heart. This would indicate that he had been suffering from this condition for weeks, possibly even months.
“We were only able to get him upright for a second or two before he would collapse again and the vet who examined him concluded that due to the advanced state of his illness the only humane option was to put him to sleep.”
A post mortem will now be carried out to establish the exact cause of the dog’s heart complaint.
Inspector Seddon continued: “To abandon an animal that is clearly in a great deal of distress and urgently requires veterinary treatment is cruel and callous beyond belief.
“We can only imagine how frightened and alone he felt as he lay helplessly by the roadside.
“Causing an animal unnecessary suffering is an offence and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to face stiff penalties including being banned from owning an animal for a fixed period or life. Anyone with information relating to the dog should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.”