A heavily pregnant Yorkshire Terrier was left to die as she gave birth in a Dunstable alleyway.
Luckily she was rescued by a passer-by but none of her litter could be saved.
This is just one of the horror stories revealed by animal charity the RSPCA in its annual statistics released today.
In April last year, the terrier was dumped, while giving birth, in an alleyway behind Mayfield Road, Dunstable.
A passer-by rushed her to a vet where she was given an emergency caesarian, but all five puppies died.
The mum, who was named May after the road where she was found, has since made a good recovery and was re-homed in May, she now lives with Lynne and Scott Duffy in Milton Keynes.
Mrs Duffy said: “May is doing really well now, she does get a bit nervous but generally she is a really happy dog.
“We chose her because we were looking for an older dog to be a companion for our Jack Russell who is 14.
“I didn’t know the details of May’s story until we spoke to the nurses and it was a horrific story.
“I could not believe that anybody could treat an animal like that, it is horrible.”
RSPCA inspector Mel Fisher said: “Someone had just left this dog, and her pups, to die.
“There was no way this dog was going to be able to give birth naturally - it was clear there were complications.
“It seems likely the owner just dumped her because of the difficult labour and didn’t want to pay for veterinary treatment.
“This means she had just been left like this to suffer on her own.
“Owning a dog is a privilege and a responsibility and we urge people to remember their animals are reliant on them for care.
“It is simply not acceptable to dump them like this in such pain.”
In Bedfordshire, the RSPCA investigated 1.535 complaints of animal abuse last year.
RSPCA chief superintendent for London and the South East, Inspector Paul Stilgoe, said: “This year has seen some of the most distressing cases our inspectors have ever come across - and in so many cases the victims were dogs.
“The level of cruelty, neglect and abuse we see across the region on a daily basis is heartbreaking but thanks to the help of members of the public we have been able to make it a bit safer for these animals.”
The charity’s annual statistics reveal that there were 81,146 investigations into cruelty towards a dog in the UK last year.