A skinny and matted Shih Tzu is fighting for her life after being found cowering behind a pallet of bricks on a Hemel Hempstead building site.
The little black and white dog – named Olive by RSPCA staff – was handed in to the charity’s rescue centre in Potters Bar on Tuesday (January 26) by a member of the public who found her hiding on the building site in Three Cherry Trees Lane.
She was rushed to the vet where staff were shocked by her condition.
Rescue centre manager Anna White said: “Olive was in an appalling condition when she came in to us.
“She was soaking wet, covered in filth, obviously in severe pain and trembling from head to foot.
“We rushed her to the vets where she was found to have severe ear and eye infections and abscesses all over her head and neck.
“Her coat was dirty, wet and very matted to the point it was limiting normal movement.
RSPCA inspector Stephanie Law is now investigating how Olive, thought to be around two years old, came to be in such a poor condition.
“She is in a complete state and there is a high chance she may not survive as her whole head is practically one big abscess,” she said.
“She cries out in pain every time she moves her head as she’s so sore.
“Her coat was badly matted, she has severe ear and eye infections, and is underweight.
“It’s touch and go for her now, and she really is fighting for her life. But the vets are doing everything they can to save her.
“Although Olive isn’t microchipped she was wearing a collar so we believe she has an owner somewhere.
“How someone could let her get into this condition is beyond me.”
The RSPCA is now appealing to the public for help with the investigation. Insp Law has urged anyone who recognises Olive to get in touch by calling the charity’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
Insp Law added: “Olive has obviously been dumped at this building site, in Cherry Trees Lane.
“She wouldn’t have been able to make her own way there as she can’t see or hear, and she can barely walk.”
She was found behind a pallet of bricks and, due to her lack of vision, couldn’t find her way out.
Olive has had her matted coat shaved off and is being treated with morphine to try to ease her pain, but it is not yet clear whether she’ll recover.