The Auckland SPCA is hoping the public can help find who is responsible for "one of the worst cases" of animal cruelty they've ever seen.
Chief executive Christine Kalin said a dog was dumped in a cardboard box at the end of a driveway in Alfriston Road, Manurewa, last Friday afternoon.
"Thank goodness [the woman who found it] took pity on the dog, brought it in, put it in more comfortable blankets and immediately phoned our SPCA line and an inspector went out," Ms Kalin said.
She said the dog was so emaciated it could not stand, its bones were shown and its claws were seriously overgrown.
"The dog was in a very emaciated state and in a very poor condition. It has serious health-related issues because of the emaciation. Its coat is in an extremely poor state.
"Over the weekend we've seen a very small weight gain. While it might appear to be progress, we would have expected greater improvement than we've seen.
SPCA staff have given the dog the name "Bright Eyes".
"We're doing everything we can but it is touch and go. There is a very high likelihood this dog won't make it.
"We are completing further veterinary tests, to try and establish whether there are any reasons why we are not seeing the level of progress that we would hope."
Ms Kalin said the abuse was "absolutely shocking".
"There has been a period of neglect. This is not neglect that occurs over a week, there has been weeks of neglect.
"How someone can look at that dog in the face and not do anything is our greatest concern. The degree of cruelty in this case is one of the worst cases we've seen. And the degree of cruelty cannot go unpunished."
Ms Kalin said the box the dog was found in has been sent away for forensic testing, but as the box was wet it is not known whether any evidence can be gained as to who was responsible.
"We haven't been able to secure any information from the public. We urge if anyone knows anything to come forward.
"This person must be stopped. They must be held accountable."
If you have information on this case, or any other incidents of animal abuse, contact the SPCA on 09 256 7300.
- HERALD ONLINE