A DOG was dumped in a field and left to die in a “despicable” act of negligence.

Today, the RSPCA called on the public to help them trace the owner so they can be prosecuted.

Animal inspectors were called after a dog walker found the Staffordshire bull terrier-cross in Bailey’s Field, near Ivinson Road, Darwen, unable to walk.

The dog was emaciated, had a swollen leg, was covered in sores and had a lump on his neck making it difficult to breathe.

It was put to sleep on the advice of a vet to end its suffering.

RSPCA inspector Helen Smith said it would have been difficult to get the dog to where it was discovered.

She said: “This poor old dog was in a terrible state.

“He couldn’t walk so must have been carried to the spot where he was found.

“He wasn’t a small dog so I suspect it took two people to get him to that field, or someone quite strong. It was a freezing cold day and he was shivering when he was found.

“Whoever did this left him in this field, exposed to the elements and anything that may have come his way. They abandoned him here to die, alone and suffering.”

The male dog, thought to be about 10 years old, was a brindle colour.

He wasn’t wearing a collar or ID tag and wasn’t microchipped.

RSPCA inspector Smith said: “If you recognise this dog, maybe you know someone who owned a dog who matched his description until just a few days ago, please get in touch.

“This was an absolutely despicable act and we want to know who is responsible.

“To allow the dog to get into that kind of state is bad enough but to then dump him like that was inexcusable.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234999 and leave a message for inspector Helen Smith.