Elderly, severely matted dog found near railway line

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The RSPCA has released distressing images of a 14-year-old Shih Tzu named Tilly, believed to have been deliberately abandoned on an embankment near a railway line in Merseyside. The elderly dog was found hypothermic and barely responsive by a member of the public who promptly took her to a vet.

When discovered, Tilly was wrapped in a towel and rushed to veterinary care. Her coat, soiled with mud, urine, and faeces, required the removal of two inches of severely matted fur before she could be properly examined. She was also severely dehydrated, with overgrown claws embedded in her pads and necrotic skin on her face infested with maggots.

A scan revealed Tilly’s identity through a microchip, but the details of her current owner were outdated. Despite the efforts of the veterinary team, no peripheral pulses were found, and it was decided to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Tilly was found off Higher Road in Halewood on 12 May. The RSPCA has launched an investigation and is urging the public to come forward with any information.

RSPCA Inspector Leanne Cooper stated, “The vets were shocked by Tilly’s horrific condition and said she was in a state of severe suffering. Given her extremely matted coat and maggot infestation, it’s possible she’d been like this for some time, weeks if not months.”

Inspector Cooper added, “It’s really important we get some answers and find out what happened to Tilly and I’d appeal to anyone who may have information about her to get in touch,” she added.

Tilly was found on the other side of a wooden fence, on the edge of the embankment leading down to the railway line. Given her condition, it is unlikely she could have reached that location on her own.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the RSPCA’s appeal line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference number 01266250.

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