Appalled RSPCA inspectors have launched a fresh appeal to catch two women in Littlehampton believed to have dumped a starving dog that was treated so shockingly it has since died.
The “severely emaciated” rottweiler was abandoned outside the Crown Hotel, in High Street, in freezing conditions, last month.
A spokeswoman for the charity has since announced that, despite the best efforts of vets and staff, the dog – named Hero by the pub staff who discovered it – died at the RSPCA kennels, in Patcham.
Jenny Wells, manager at Patcham, said: “It was heartbreaking. He was putting on weight slowly, but because he had been starved his body was simply not working properly – irrevocable damage had been done.
“He collapsed and was rushed to a vet who advised that he should be put to sleep to end his suffering.”
Hero weighed less than half his normal body weight when he as dumped.
Inspector Tony Pritchard, who was one of those who helped to rescue the distressed animal, said: “This poor dog was completely emaciated, one of the thinnest dogs I have seen.
“A male adult Rottweiler should weigh 50-60 kilos.
“This dog weighed just 22 kilos. He was simply starving.”
CCTV footage has been released of two women wanted in connection with the crime.
Both wore thick hooded jackets and one is believed to be heavily pregnant, at the time of the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.