A tiny puppy was found buried alive with two broken legs in what the RSPCA has called a "hideous act of cruelty ".
The nine-week-old pup had been wrapped in a bin bag and dumped in a field.
A distressed dog walker made the grim discovery in Leyland, Lancashire, on Saturday.
The RSPCA has condemned the vile cruelty and launched an investigation.
"I am absolutely heartbroken that vets weren’t able to save this innocent, loving little puppy," said RSPCA Inspector Alison Fletcher in a press release.
"He didn’t deserve this ending.
"It’s extremely suspicious that this little pup had such serious broken legs which, seemingly, hadn’t been treated.
"And for someone to abandon him in such shocking circumstances, in what appears to be an attempt to kill him, is utterly shocking."
Insp Fletcher said the puppy was believed to be a Pomeranian type.
One front and one rear leg had been broken, leaving him unable to walk or move.
The inspector continued: "It’s absolutely heartbreaking. What a hideous act of cruelty to walk out to the middle of nowhere, dig a grave and bury this poor puppy alive in the dirt.
"I can’t believe this little one was found, he was so lucky or he could have suffered the most unimaginably slow and painful death."
Vets agreed putting the severely-injured dog to sleep was the kindest action.
Insp Fletcher said: "We’ve now launched a full investigation into who would do such a heinous thing and I’d like to hear from anybody who recognises the puppy or who knows of anyone locally who has had a litter of Pomeranian type puppies recently, or who bought a Pomeranian pup but no longer has it.
"Anyone who can help our investigation in any way can get in touch via our appeal line on 0300 123 8018."
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