The RSPCA is appealing for information after three skinny chickens were dumped in a pigeon basket in pouring rain in Merseyside.

A member of the public found the three birds huddled together in a brown basket on the Liverpool Loop Line, between Fazackerley to Hunts Cross, near to Longmoor Lane.

They contacted the RSPCA and inspector Helen Smith collected the birds, who were all very thin and hungry.

Inspector Smith said: “All that was in the basket with them was some sodden wet straw for bedding. We have no idea how long the poor chickens were there for, out in the rain. It is so sad that someone thought it was ok to dump defenceless birds like that.”

They were found on Wednesday (3 October) at around 8.20am, so it is likely they had been there overnight.

Inspector Smith added: “The chickens were dumped in a pigeon carrier wicker basket, which is quite distinctive and we hope that someone will come forward after recognising it.”

The chickens, who have been named Lulu, Lillian and Loretta, are now being cared for at a private boarding establishment.

Anyone who has any information about who dumped the chickens can call the RSPCA’s appeals line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018.

The abandonment comes a day after Inspector Smith also dealt with the dumping of a dog just four miles away, in Shevingtons Lane, Kirkby. A man in a green Land Rover was seen pulling up at the side of the road in broad daylight, dumping the Staffordshire bull terrier and then driving off.

“Last month we received 82 calls about abandoned animals in Merseyside,” said Inspector Smith. “I will never understand why someone would abandon any animal, whether they be a dog, chicken, cat, rabbit, mouse, tortoise – any animal.

“Every animal has specific welfare needs and it’s so dangerous to leave any animal abandoned and having to fend for itself. Abandoning pets should never be seen as a solution to a problem.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.