Appeal to track masked duo who dumped puppies in lay-by

Appeal to track masked duo who dumped puppies in lay-by

The RSPCA is appealing for information after two masked men abandoned five American bulldog puppies in a remote lay-by near Yarm in North Yorkshire on December 29.

A black BMW SUV was spotted at the scene in Trenholme Lane near Hutton Rudby by a couple who were driving by. The men, who were wearing Covid-19 face masks, made off after leaving the canines in a crate, covered by a pink blanket.

The puppies were taken home by the couple, who then contacted the RSPCA. They were taken to the vets for treatment, but sadly, one of them was so poorly that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep.

The others remain in RSPCA care and will be rehomed as soon as possible.

It is thought the young bulldogs may have been owned by illegal puppy breeders who after failing to sell them over Christmas have callously chosen to abandon them.

The RSPCA and North Yorkshire Police are trying to find those responsible and would like to hear from anyone who has any information about the vehicle - the first part of whose registration plate appeared to be CJ65.

RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent said:

We are working with the police to try to find the people who left these poor puppies in a situation which could have seen them all not making it through the night.

Some of the dogs were underweight and their ribs were clearly visible, while they were all covered in faeces. Fortunately, a couple out driving saw these men pull up in a BMW at the lay-by and after they left they took the puppies home with them.

It may well be that these are puppies that have not been sold for Christmas and therefore they have become a problem rather than a source of money for someone, which has led to the decision to dump them.

What is interesting is we’ve had other dogs abandoned in this area previously.

Inspector Clive Turner, from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said:

The treatment of these puppies is as cruel as it is shocking, and we need to identify those responsible.

I’d urge anyone with any information that could assist with the inquiry, to get in touch as soon as possible.

Sadly, this kind of abandonment is on the increase and the RSPCA has seen a shocking 25% rise in the overall number of abandonment incidents. Along with a 13% rise in neglect incidents being dealt with by rescue teams. 

The charity’s most recent figures show that up to October 2022, its rescuers dealt with 13,159 incidents of abandonment, which has risen from 10,519 year-on-year. 

That is why the RSPCA has launched its Winter campaign which aims to raise money to help animals, including puppies, who've been abandoned in this way. 

The BMW was seen at around 4 pm on the day the puppies were left.

As well as the PPE masks, the two men were wearing hoodies.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the RSPCA appeals line number on 0300 123 8018