A DOG found scavenging for roadkill on moorland was probably left to die because her owners were unwilling to pay for her to be treated for cancer.
The border collie, named Beauty by the animal sanctuary owner who found her, has secondary tumours in her windpipe and chest that vets believe may be inoperable.
She was discovered last week by Gareth Edwards, who runs Farplace Animal Rescue, in Westgate, near Stanhope, County Durham, with his partner, Jan.
Mr Edwards was driving across the moors between Weardale and Derwentside to take a cat for a vet’s appointment when he saw Beauty, who is estimated to be between ten and 12, trying to eat roadkill.
He said: “At first I throught she was a fox but as I got closer was horrified to see she was a dog.
“She was absolutely starving but was very placid.
Clearly she belonged to somebody and they would have had to drive a long way to dump her where they did.”
Mr Edwards took her to the vet, who discovered that she had the tumours, which were caused because previous tumours had not been treated.
He said: “Initially the vet said they were inoperable but we are hoping to shrink them enough through a proper diet, antibiotics and herbal treatment so that they may be removed.
“Even if they can’t, Beauty is not ready to go yet.
“She is playful and still very cheery and will be with us until the vets tell us she in too much pain.
“We have now adopted her.
Whoever owned her previously would have some serious questions to answer about neglect and would probably face criminal charges.”
The sanctuary in Weardale has launched a fundraising campaign to pay for the treatment Beauty will need.
Mr Edwards thanked the hundreds of their 24,000 followers on Twitter who have already donated.
To contribute, visit farplace.co.uk, send a cheque payable to Farplace Animal Rescue at Far Place, Sidehead, Westgate, Weardale, Co Durham, DL13 1LE, or text BEAUTY to 70300, which donates £5.