AN investigation has been launched after a dog with 'horrific' injuries was tied to a tree and abandoned.

RSPCA inspectors are appealing for information after a Lurcher cross was found abandoned in Worsthorne with severe injuries consistent with having been used for hunting.

The dog was first spotted tied to a tree on a lane off Brownside Road at around 6am on Monday.

RSPCA inspector Lyndsey Taylor said: “Seeing him again at 9.30am, a member of the public went to investigate and found him to have numerous injuries.

"They cut him free and took him to a local vets who then reported him to us.

“He has a recent and severe injury to his nose, and injuries to his muzzle, ears, body and lower limbs, which is a tell tale sign of him having been used for hunting, but is also covered in older wounds and scars.

“He also has an injured front leg which he can’t put weight on, long nails and pressure sores on his hind legs. He’s in a terrible state.”

He is described as a large neutered male, brindle and white in colour, aged around four-years-old. He was not wearing a collar and was not microchipped as is required by law.

RSPCA inspector Taylor said: “The injuries sustained by this dog are horrific.

“He is suffering, and has clearly suffered repeatedly, as a result of his owner’s desire to inflict pain and suffering on other animals, likely foxes, who have no doubt also suffered a great deal.

“We believe the most recent injuries were caused sometime between Tuesday, September 26 and Friday, October 6.

“I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw this dog in the area sometime during the evening of Sunday, October 8 and the early hours of Monday, October 9 but also if anyone recognises this dog or has noticed a dog like this no longer living in an enclosure or back yard.”

She added: “I’m happy to say that this poor lad is responding very well to treatment. He is receiving lots of care and attention and should make a full recovery, although he will be badly scarred from these injuries.”

Anyone with any specific information is asked to call the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for inspector Taylor.