RISING numbers of pet dogs are being left on the streets with often life-threatening medical conditions.
RSPCA bosses said dogs are being found with badly broken bones, cancerous tumours and abscesses after being dumped because owners refuse to pay for veterinary treatment.
Animal welfare bosses said help is out there if people find themselves in difficulties, and warned that anyone who dumps a dog on the streets could face a £5,000 fine and up to six months in prison.
Lisa Hogg, from the RSPCA, said: “We are seeing more cases like this lately.
“At the end of the year we normally see a slight upturn in calls, but it was huge last year.
“If I have 15 calls a day, two or three are people that don’t want their animals.
“It is such a difficult climate with the economy and we also get people that are sick of their dogs because they have grown up or they are not the dog they used to be.”
She added: “There are organisations such as ourselves that will help people, but they have to ask rather than get into the position where they are going to throw them out.”
Low Fallowfield Farm Kennels and Cattery, South Hetton, is appealing for people to come forward to give a home to pooches that have been left on the streets.
Anyone wanting to adopt a dog at the kennels can ring 526 1829.
The RSPCA is appealing for people to come forward to foster dogs and cats that cannot cope with living in kennels. Call 527 3497.