A man who found an apparently abandoned dog tied up at the top of Taupo's Hatepe Hill says it's unbelievable somebody could treat an animal so badly.

The man noticed the dog tied to a gate in full sun in an area known as Earthquake Gully when he was biking past on Sunday February 25.

He stopped to help the dog, which had got itself tied up even more tightly in its attempts to break free.

"They tied it with a piece of rope tight around the neck and he had been trying to get off. The rope had gone that tight that I couldn't get my fingers under it."

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The dog had no collar or tags, no food and the only water was from a nearby puddle.

"He was obviously put there for somebody to come across...he couldn't have been there too long, somebody would have seen him, surely."

The man thought the dog looked like a mixed breed with possible fox terrier or whippet and said he was a lovely animal with no apparent reason for being left there on his own.

A woman who was waiting nearby helped cut the dog free and took it home, where it was later picked up by a Taupo District Council animal control officer and taken to the Taupo pound.

The man, whose own much-loved dog had recently died, decided he would adopt it if it had not been claimed within the statutory seven-day waiting time.

But in the meantime the pound contacted him to say the dog had stopped eating and drinking and likely had parvovirus. It was euthanised last week to save it further suffering.

Council consents and regulatory manager Scott Devonport said the dog was in reasonable condition and appeared suitable for adoption but after it developed parvo symptoms nothing could be done to save it.

Dogs being held at the pound must be kept there for seven days after which time they become the property of the council and can be rehomed.

Devonport said all dogs needing homes had a temperament check and the pound had a good success rate at finding owners for them.

The man who found the dog said he'd like to see justice for it and asked anybody with information on how it came to be left there, or who did so, to contact the Taupo District Council on 376 0899.