A DOG was dumped on Christmas Day by its callous owners.
The 10-year-old spaniel setter cross, named Winter by rescuers, was dumped on a country road in Lanarkshire.
A nearby householder saw a car stop on the lane, between Muirkirk and Strathaven near the A71, and found the distressed pooch soon after.
Winter is now being cared for at the Scottish SPCA’s Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.
Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Billy Linton said, “It seems the driver simply let Winter out of the car and drove away.
“Thankfully, someone in a nearby cottage saw the car stop and when they checked outside they found this poor dog in a great deal of distress.
“Whoever abandoned Winter couldn’t have cared whether he lived or died.
“He was very lucky someone found him and called us because he could just as easily have run off or been knocked down by a car and killed.
“It was early evening, dark, cold and raining heavily when he was abandoned and he was bedraggled and extremely nervous when I arrived.
“Although he has a healed sore on his body and is slightly thin, he is in reasonable condition and has almost certainly been someone’s pet.
“Unfortunately, he isn’t microchipped and he didn’t have a collar or a tag so we are appealing for information as we are keen to trace whoever was responsible for dumping him in such cruel circumstances.
“It is very sad but abandonments around this time of year are quite common and, even though it will be hard for most people to imagine, we can’t rule out the possibility that Winter’s owner decided to get rid of him to make way for a Christmas puppy given his age.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence that carries stiff penalties including up to six months in prison, a £5,000 fine and a ban on keeping animals.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999. All calls are in the strictest confidence.