RSPCA officers in Cornwall say they are shocked that a young rabbit was dumped and left to die in a plastic bag on waste ground.
The ill-treatment of the rabbit found in Camborne has been described as one of the worst cases of abandonment seen in the county.
Jo Barr from the RSPCA said there had been a spate of particularly nasty abandonments in Cornwall recently.
"We are worried it may get worse in the run up to Christmas," she said.
As well as the rabbit, which had to be put down, there have been four recent incidents of animals being abandoned.
They included a cat tied up inside a pillowcase and two dormice found inside a make-up bag that was left outside a house in St Dennis.
RSPCA inspector David Hobbs said: "There is absolutely no excuse for abandoning an animal, whatever the circumstances.
"If people have animals which they can no longer keep then help and advice is available from a number of organisations including the RSPCA."