AN EMACIATED lurcher which was hours from death after being dumped in a hedge on Christmas Day was saved – by a dog sniffing her out.

Shocking pictures show seven-year-old Rosie, who was later found to have been sold to someone in the Wales or Shropshire area, had ribs protruding through her skin and her body covered in puncture wounds.

The RSPCA say she had been “left to die” in a hedgerow on Spen Common Lane near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, before she was found at 7.30am on Christmas morning.

A dog walker’s pet sniffed her out and started barking for help.

The passer-by carried the starving animal back to her home nearby and immediately called the RSPCA who sent her to an emergency vet.

Rosie was covered in a purple antibiotic spray which had been used to try and treat numerous puncture wounds on her body.

She was put on a drip and has been receiving round-the-clock veterinary care ever since at a 24-hour animal hospital.

Hereford Times: Starving lurcher Rosie was found dumped on Christmas DayStarving lurcher Rosie was found dumped on Christmas Day (Image: SWNS/RSPCA)

Despite her appalling condition, she is making encouraging progress but an infection in her hind leg might mean she has the limb amputated.

The RSPCA, which is funding the cost of Rosie’s care, is appealing for anyone who recognises her or saw what happened to get in touch.

RSPCA officer James Dack said Rosie was extremely fortunate to have been discovered in the quiet country lane, and that he thought she would have succumbed to her injuries and the cold had she not been found.

“She had clearly been dumped and left to die," he said.

“There had been an attempt to treat her wounds with an antiseptic spray, but whoever callously abandoned her has probably thought, ‘she’s injured, she’s on her way out, I’ll just leave her’.

“It was a shocking incident to have to deal with on Christmas Day."

Rosie was microchipped to an address in Nottinghamshire but the details were out of date and she had been sold to someone in the ‘Wales or Shropshire’ area four years ago.

Anyone with information about her is urged to contact the RSPCA’s appeals line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018.