A dead dog found tied to a fence in woodland during freezing conditions has been laid to rest in Leeds.
A volunteer from Dogs Trust Leeds found the animal close to the A1 at Bramham, just over a mile from the charity's York Road rehoming centre.
Manager Amanda Sands said the volunteer and staff at the centre had been badly affected by the incident.
She added that they wanted to ‘give him the respect in death he deserved in life’ and have now created a memorial at their HQ.
The volunteer had been walking one of the centre’s homeless hounds on the morning of December 30 last year when she saw the dog which had been tied to a fence in woods in a way that meant he could not have freed himself.
Team members immediately went out to collect the body of the male, believed to be a German Shepherd Cross, and he was taken to Abbey House Vets where he was subsequently cremated.
Amanda, who has worked at Dogs Trust Leeds for over 30 years, says this is one of the most distressing incidents she has ever had to deal with.
She said: "The weather that weekend was dreadful with snow, freezing rain and wind and the thought of that poor dog being abandoned in this way is unbearable.
“We all immediately said that if his owner could not be traced we wanted to lay him to rest in our memorial garden so he can rest in peace.”
The dog, named Red by Amanda and the team due to the colour of his coat, was not micro-chipped so his owners cannot be traced and the team are concerned that he may have been a much-loved dog who has been stolen.
She added: “We don’t know if this dog has been stolen or whether he has been abandoned by his owner in this terrible way, which is very hard to imagine."
Red has been laid to rest in the centre’s memorial garden with a memorial plaque reading: “For a lovely boy we called Red. I wish we could have helped you in life.”
* Anyone with information about how Red died is urged to contact the RSPCA Cruelty Line by calling 0300 123 4999.