An Auckland woman was left in tears after discovering a dog tied to a tree and left to die in a concealed area of bush.
Amy Hughes was walking her own dogs in Ken Maunder Park in New Lynn when they "showed great interest" in a concealed bush area.
"As I am nosy I went and had a look, luckily," Ms Hughes said.
"I was horrified to find a dog tied up with rope which had rubbed his neck, and he was skin and bones."
"He had clearly been purposely tied up where nobody could see him to be left for dead."
She said its fur had rubbed off from the rope around his neck & it had very overgrown nails.
Ms Hughes said the dog was however friendly, so she was untied it and took him home and fed it.
"As a dog lover, this discovery had me in tears whilst I was trying to free him."
Ms Hughes said because she already had two dogs, she could not adopt a third and had to hand it over to Auckland Council.
She named the dog Ken, and had received quite a few requests from people keen to adopt the dog after posting her story and pictures on Facebook.
"I want to raise awareness that there are many options available besides leaving a dog tied up to die a slow, horrible, inhumane death," Ms Hughes said.
Her post was also meet with outrage at how the dog had been abandoned, with many calling for the original owner to be found and prosecuted.
Tracey Moore, the council's animal management manager, confirmed the dog was being cared for at the council's animal shelter in Henderson.
She said shelter staff advised that the dog is very thin and has a red raw rub mark on its neck suggesting that it had had a collar on at some stage rather than just the rope.
"For any animal lover, the condition this dog is in is distressing," Ms Moore said.
"The good news is that he is gaining weight, but we will still need to do a general health check and if is owners don't come forward, he will go through a temperament test before he can be considered for adoption."
The dog was not micro-chipped and there was no registration tag, so the owner could not be tracked down.
Owners have seven days to come forward to claim their dog.
Under the Animal Welfare Act, councils cannot prosecute an owner for neglect or cruelty to an animal, Ms Moore said.
However, it would advise the SPCA if it thought the matter was it is serious. The council advertises dogs for adoption on its website and through the animal shelters' Facebook page.
SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says while it's far too common to sees animals that have been abandoned it's not unavoidable.
"We would see far fewer situations like this one if the public took simple steps like desexing their pets, getting them vet treatment and ensuring they have food, water, shelter and exercise.
"Animal ownership is a lifelong commitment, pets are members of the family, they are not disposable objects."
Ms Midgen understands that sometimes pet owners can find themselves in the position of being unable to keep their animal.
Nevertheless she says it's their responsibility to rehome their family pet.
"There are many ways to find a new home, we suggest pet owners advertise their animal as widely as possible, distribute a flyer with a photo and information about your pet's personality."
Miss Midgen adds creating a listing online on www.petsonthenet.co.nz was another option and if all of these options had been exhausted the SPCA was always available for further advice.
"It's never acceptable to dump or abandon an unwanted animal on the streets."