Mystery surrounds the last moments of a dog whose lifeless body was discovered on a canal towpath in Chester.
Although she appeared to be in reasonable condition, a shaved patch on her neck showed that four morphine patches had been administered, and the RSPCA are now trying to establish what happened to Tilly in her final moments.
They have asked us to publicise this image of Tilly, as she was found, in an attempt to help trace her last owner, although a spokesperson stressed it was not obvious at this stage whether or not an offence had been committed.
RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: "We know Tilly is at least 11 years old and there are no obvious signs of illness as she appeared in a lean and reasonable condition with nothing to indicate ongoing issues.
"A vet has examined the dog and did not find any obvious signs of abuse or neglect.
"I have sought advice about the patches and shown pictures to a further two vets for their input."
"But we want to speak to the owner of the dog or the last person responsible for the dog when it was alive. I just want to know where this treatment came from, what happened in the final moments and rule out any wrongdoing.
"It is unusual because it is not generally how someone would dispose of a body - the people who found Tilly have understandably been left traumatised."
Inspector Joynes said Tilly, who was microchipped, was re-homed from her original owners via a boxer rescue centre to an address in Little Sutton around 10 years ago.
"We know there had been a home check on this Little Sutton property but as the microchip is 10 years old, the address could now be out of date," he explained.
Anyone with any relevant information should contact Inspector Joynes at the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999