STRUGGLING pet owners are being urged to seek help after severely neglected dogs were found abandoned.

A member of the public found Samson and Delilah tied to a fence on the A167 between Darlington and Croft .

Both were severely underweight and suffering from mange.

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Darlington dog warden Andy Wood, who said it was one of the worst cases of neglect he'd seen, appealed for the owner to come forward and urged anyone struggling to care for their pets to seek help.

"Neither of them were microchipped, they were in a pretty poor state of neglect and very much underweight.

“It’s difficult to tell exactly what kind of breed they are because they’ve lost so much fur and weight - though we believe one of them may have been used as a breeding machine.

“We don’t know how long they were out there and they could have died, as it’s been very warm.

“We believe someone has abandoned them and would like anyone who saw them tied to the fence or who has any information about them to get in touch.”

He added: “If there’s someone who needs help and is struggling to look after their pet, they should get in touch as there are ways and means they can receive help.

“There are far too many people doing things like this and I know times are hard but they must get help before the situation escalates.

“This has been long-term neglect and I want to remind people to take care and not leave dogs for this long as the damage can be irrepairable.

“It is the dogs that suffer, not the people who wash their hands of them and think someone else is going to come along and sort it out – these dogs could have died.”

The dogs, who were found on Friday, July 4, are expected to make a full recovery and are being looked after by Deerness Kennels.

Anyone interested in re-homing them or making a donation to help with veterinary expenses can call Kevin or Linda at Deerness Kennels on 0191 3780439.

Anyone with information about the dogs or their owner should call 01325 388799.