Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 18:03 UK

Abandoned dog in 'skeletal state'

Hobo is being looked after at the PDSA Hospital in Northampton

An abandoned German Shepherd dog was a "walking skeleton" when he was found, animal charity the RSPCA has revealed.

The RSPCA made an appeal for information after the dog, nicknamed Hobo by staff looking after him, was found in Little Billing, Northampton.

Hobo, who was found on 16 July, is believed to be between five and seven years old.

He had overgrown nails, was severely emaciated and had mange which caused him to lose almost all of his hair.

Hobo was found by a member of the public and taken to the PDSA Hospital in Northampton.

'So callous'

He is now receiving treatment and is eating and drinking well but will have to stay in hospital for at least a month.

Insp Claire Ryder, of the RSPCA, said she thought Hobo may not have been a stray for long as he would probably have been picked up before his condition worsened.

She said: "I have never seen such a mistreated dog, he really was like a walking skeleton.

"He must have been in agony for a long period of time.

"I shudder to think how someone could have been so callous as to let him get in this state.

"I urge anyone with information to come forward to help us find out where Hobo came from and how he came to be in such a terrible way."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the RSPCA.

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