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The RSPCA is investigating after a puppy was tied up and abandoned by a church in a Hertfordshire village on the hottest September day the UK has seen for over 100 years.

The female lurcher-type puppy, thought to be around four months old, was found by a member of the public outside the church in Riverside, in London Colney, on Wednesday last week (14 September), when the UK was experiencing temperatures of up to 30c.

The underweight dog, who has been named Elle, was found at 8.30am, when temperatures were already rising.

RSPCA inspector Helen Mead, who is investigating, said: “Poor Elle could have been left there tied up for hours as she could have been dumped the night before.

“She was very vulnerable being out there in the open on her own – I dread to think what could have happened if she hadn’t have been found. Dogs suffer when left in the hot sun like this as they can develop heat stroke, which can kill.”

Elle is now in the RSPCA’s care and it is hoped she will make a full recovery. The RSPCA is now urging people to come forward with information.

Inspector Mead said: “Somebody consciously made the decision to tie up an innocent dog and leave her there with no intention of going back. Elle2.jpg

“It is heartbreaking that somebody decided to do that and we are very keen to find out who did this.”

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Helen Mead.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)