The RSPCA is investigating after two dead dogs with injuries to their legs and head were found in shallow graves by a canal.

A member of the public made the shocking discovery at the side of a canal in Birchfield Lane, Oldbury, in the Sandwell area of the West Midlands, on Tuesday 2 May.

They were partially buried about 15ft away from each other in bin bags and had injuries consistent with dogfighting.

RSPCA inspector Vicki Taylor said: “Both of the dogs, which were Staffie-type breeds, had swelling to their legs and puncture wounds around their jaw. We can’t say for certain how these injuries were received, however it does concern us that these are injuries which we see in dogs used to fight.

“On top of that, one of the dogs was underweight. It is clear that the dogs were not cared for well in life, and in death they have been discarded at the side of a canal.

“We are keen to find out who dumped the bodies there, so we are urging anyone who has any information at all to contact us on 0300 123 8018. All calls will be treated with confidence.”

Animal fighting is banned under Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. There are a number of offences – these include causing an animal fight to take place or attempting to do so, receiving money for admission, publicising a fight, training an animal to fight, taking part in a fight and being present at an animal fighting without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. Some of the offences can be committed without a fight having taken place.

Anyone convicted for these offences can face a maximum sentence of six months in custody and an unlimited fine. A court can also pass orders banning someone from keeping and owning dogs – potentially lifelong bans – as well as ordering the forfeiture of equipment and destruction orders on any dogs involved.

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.)