A passerby was horrified to discover the bodies of nine puppies dumped on a verge just days before Christmas.
The RSPCA has now launched an investigation after being called by someone who discovered the pups dumped on the side of the road in Berwick Road, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on Friday, December 18.
Deputy chief inspector Becky Timberlake went to the scene. She said: "The puppies are all aged around eight-weeks-old so were no doubt destined for the Christmas market.
"I suspect they’ve come from a nearby puppy farm as there were three separate litters dumped together. Most were microchipped but they were not registered to any owners.
"It’s not clear why the pups died but parvovirus is rife among poorly bred puppy-farmed dogs and dealers don’t seek veterinary help as they don’t want to arouse suspicion or spend money which will impact on their profits.
"They’d rather leave puppies to suffer, grow weaker and sicker, and, eventually, die than to spend money on getting them help. And they then discard them like rubbish at the side of the road. It’s disgusting; these were living, breathing puppies who deserved so much better."
The pups were a mix of breeds – lurcher types and terrier types – and three were wearing collars but none had ID tags.
There were no obvious injuries so it’s suspected they died from a virus or infection.
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Police were also called to the scene and the RSPCA has now launched an investigation.
Becky added: "We’re appealing to the public to help us track down whoever is responsible for dumping these puppies here and we fear there may be other puppies suffering who need our help.
"If you saw anything suspicious in the area on Friday or overnight on Thursday please call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018. We believe the puppies died between 24 and 48 hours before they were found.”
Becky added: "Every year there’s a surge in demand for puppies in the run-up to Christmas. People think of a cute, fluffy puppy with a bow around its neck under the tree, but this is the reality of where your puppy may have come from; this is the dark side of the Christmas puppy market."
This winter, the RSPCA expects to respond to thousands of animal cruelty calls. To help its rescue teams reach the thousands of animals, visit the RSPCA website.
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