A HEART-RENDING picture shows an abandoned dog close to death moments after it was found tied up in a pillow case and left to die.
The dog, which had to be put down, had been inside the sack for several days when it was found by a walker who heard yelping.
The grass for some distance around had been flattened, suggesting the elderly terrier had fought desperately to escape.
The SSPCA and police are now trying to hunt down the person or people responsible for what has been described as “unbelievable cruelty”.
A birdwatcher made the discovery at an East Lothian beauty spot called Whitesands Bay beach on Tuesday.
Colin Davidson, from nearby Musselburgh, said: “I could hear a faint yelping coming from a pillowcase and when I cut it open discovered the dog.
“The grass around was flattened for three or four dog lengths where it must have been moving around, suggesting it had been there for some time, possibly a few days.
“It is just a sickening thing to do. I couldn’t believe it, the dog seemed elderly but it was hard to tell given its condition. I don’t know how anyone could do such a thing.”
Colin wrote on Twitter: “Disturbed to find this dog tied in a sack and dumped in hedge at whitesands. Unbelievable cruelty.”
The post was immediately inundated with messages from outraged animal lovers.
Neil Maciver ?said: “Brutal cruelty. I don’t understand these people’s reasoning.”
Eleanor Hurley ?wrote: “I can’t believe someone would do that. If not wanted they could have taken it to the SSPCA. Heartbreaking.”
And Dave Massey ?said: “That is so awful. Horrible people.”
A spokeswoman at Links Veterinary Group in Haddington, East Lothian said: “Sadly the dog had to be put to sleep and the case is now with the SSPCA.”
The SSPCA have appealed to anyone with information to contact them, saying their investigation was at an early stage.
Inspector Stephanie McCrossan added: “Call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
The sickening discovery comes only a year after another dog was found tied up and left to drown beside the former Cockenzie Power Station in East Lothian.
Fishermen discovered the body of the dog tied up on a ledge at low tide and abandoned.