A FAMILY dog was attacked and then dumped in a communal bin in a callous act of cruelty.
The terrified pet is believed to have been repeatedly struck in the face before being hurled into the pile of rubbish on King’s Road, Portobello.
The animal was only discovered after a passer-by heard it whimpering.
The Scottish SPCA is now appealing for witnesses after the blood-spattered Staffordshire terrier cross was found on New Year’s Day.
Abandoning an animal is against the law and can result in a 12-month jail sentence and a fine of up to £20,000.
His owner, who is said to be “horrified”, believes the tan and white dog escaped from their garden and was gone for around an hour before he was found.
A grandfather who helped release the dog, and did not want to be named, said he believed it had been attacked and was bleeding from the nose.
He said: “The dog was in a really distressed state. Someone who does something like this could be capable of anything.
“We had trouble getting it out of the bin, but a couple walking along came to help and between us we managed it. I think he had been in there for some time – who knows what would have happened if we hadn’t found him? I just hope whoever is responsible for this can be traced – the poor thing was terrified.”
The discovery is the latest in a series of incidents in which pets have been dumped in bins in the Lothians. In August, an investigation was launched after a cat was left to die tied up in a bag and dumped in a wheelie bin in West Lothian.
The SSPCA was called to rescue Zola after a member of the public heard her cries while walking along Edinburgh Road in Bathgate in August.
And a cat narrowly avoided the crusher after it was dumped in a communal wheelie bin in 2012.
The white and tabby tomcat, named Sammy by rescuers, was found trapped in his carrier in a bin at Easter Road. It was suggested a cat-hater could have deliberately left him to die – and that he could have been stolen.
Doreen Graham, vice chairman of the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said of the latest incident: “I’ve seen this sort of thing all too often. There’s a chance that the bin could have been uplifted before someone was able to reach the dog. Cruel acts such as these are unacceptable in today’s society.”
Once the dog was freed, the SSPCA were able to return him to his owner by word of mouth.
Chief Inspector Paul Anderson said: “His owner was understandably horrified, and we are very keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this incident.
“We are asking people in the area to cast their minds back to New Year’s Day and recall if they remember seeing the dog or anyone acting suspiciously.”