A dog with the word "FREE" spray-painted on its fur has been found wandering the streets believed to be abandoned by its owners.

The dog was found walking around the NSW town of Richmond near the sewage treatment before being picked up by the local animal shelter.

The previous owners had spray-painted 'FREE' on the dog's stomach in red paint.

"Free was found on Springrove Road near the sewage treatment plant and picked up and brought to the shelter," the shelter wrote on Facebook.

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The shelter revealed that the dog was going to be put out to be adopted but warned it wouldn't be free as he needs to be de-sexed, vaccinated, micro-chipped and registered.

The incident has sparked disgust on social media with locals describing the dog's previous owners as "cruel" and "disgusting humans".

"If they treat poor defenseless dogs like this I can only imagine how they treat other people what a disgraceful excuse for a human being", one person wrote.

Social media users were left disgusted at the treatment and abandonment of the dog. Photo / Richmond Valley Council Animal Shelter
Social media users were left disgusted at the treatment and abandonment of the dog. Photo / Richmond Valley Council Animal Shelter

Another said: "Some people are disgusting humans. I truly hope karma comes back around for this heartless behaviour. Here's to his next home being a wonderful one that makes up for all the crap he's had to deal with so far."

One person commented saying many humans don't deserve pets.

"This is heartbreaking. I don't know how people can physically do this. I could not leave him behind tied up like that. The human race is truly a despicable bunch!"

The dog is expected to be up for adoption to find its next forever home next week.