A HALF-STARVED dog may have been burned by cigarettes, an animal charity fears.
Staffordshire bull terrier Sophie was discovered shivering by a member of the public on Well Street in Paisley on Monday.
The brindle pup was half the normal weight for her breed and was covered in painful sores.
Sophie, who is thought to be between two and five years old, is now being treated at the Scottish SPCA at their Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, where experts think her wounds were caused by cigarettes.
Senior Inspector Nicki Scott said, “Sophie is severely emaciated, weighing just 7kgs when a dog of her breed and age should be around 14kgs.
“She also has ulcerated wounds on her leg, the tip of her nose and the inside of her ear.
“We can’t be certain but the vet who assessed Sophie said these may be cigarette burns as they are blistered and circular in shape.
“Sophie is currently receiving treatment for her sores and will be put on a special diet so we can get her to a healthy weight.
“Despite being caused a great deal of pain and suffering, she is a gorgeous girl with a very friendly nature. When she has fully recovered we will be looking to find Sophie a new owner who will provide her with the love and care she deserves.
“We’re appealing to the public for information as we really need to find the cruel person responsible for causing Sophie so much distress.”
Allowing an animal to be caused unnecessary suffering is an offence that carries stiff penalties. Anyone found guilty of doing so can be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
Anyone with information relating Sophie is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.