The RSPCA is appealing for information after a middle-aged Jack Russell terrier was found tied up to a tree off of a pathway in Bickenhall Woods, near Taunton, on Saturday 9 July.

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A couple spotted the small dog, now named Murray, who is believed to be about seven years-old after he was abandoned in the woods. They first saw him at 9:30am and by midday, nobody had returned to collect him.

RSPCA inspector Peter Barton said: “To leave any animal tied up like this in the woods, where he may not have been found, is just a callous and thoughtless act. Anything could have happened to him and he was left vulnerable. It is also an offence against the Animal Welfare Act and people should be mindful of that.

“Taking on any pet is a big responsibility and is not one that should be taken lightly as, once you have taken an animal on, you then have a moral and legal responsibility to then care for that animal.

“Summer is a particularly peak time for us in terms of rescuing animals that have been abandoned and last year there were nearly 200 animals abandoned in Somerset. It really is just heartbreaking. These animals are often just dumped without a care for their welfare or what might happen to them, just like poor Murray.

“We are looking to speak to anyone who recognises Murray or may have any further information about how he came to be abandoned in this way. People can contact us in complete confidence and we would urge anyone with any details that could help us with this investigation to please come forward.”

The RSPCA is urging people to come forward with information. People can call their inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Inspector Barton added: “I just really hope that Murray now finds a loving new home after being dumped as if he was just a disposable object that could be thrown away when someone had had enough of him. He is a very sweet-natured boy and lots of fun – he really deserves a second chance.”

Murray is now on the lookout for a new home and anyone interested in adopting Murray can call the RSPCA’s West Hatch animal centre on 0300 123 0721 or come to the centre, near Taunton, for a visit. The centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm and on Sunday from 11am to 1pm.