An abandoned pregnant dog rescued from a London alleyway by the RSPCA was covered in so much of her own faeces that the animal charity couldn't tell what colour she was.
The RSPCA officer who found the dog - who has since been named Florence - found her with a closed eye and a cut to the side of her face.
She was left in a filthy wet crate wrapped in plastic, which had no bedding and was filled with faeces.
The officer was unable to tell what Florence's natural colour was.
After being discovered on Sunday night (December 2) in an alleyway near to Florence Road, in Finsbury Park, Florence was taken to the RSPCA’s Harmsworth Memorial Animal Hospital.
Vets found that her uterus, which had ruptured, had a dead puppy inside.
Emergency surgery was needed to save Florence's life.
If Florence had not been found and provided with intensive treatment she would soon have died a "horrible death", the RSPCA said.
A spokesperson for the hospital said: “Poor Florence has been through a heartbreaking ordeal, but despite it all she has still been friendly, even though she is so poorly.
“When she came into us we did an ultrasound that showed the presence of a dead foetus in her uterus.
“Sadly it is most likely she was having difficulty giving birth when she was abandoned.
“If she had been seen by a vet sooner they could have intervened and maybe helped and saved her pup.
"There was also a superficial wound on her face which has been treated.
"She is currently recovering on fluids and medications but is still in a serious condition.”
A map showing where Florence was discovered
Praise for the animal lover who helped rescue Florence
The terribly ill dog would not have been rescued without a member of the public phoning the RSPCA.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Nicola Thomas said Florence's situation was both heartbreaking and tragic.
She said: "I would like to thank the member of the public who contacted us after finding poor Florence in the alleyway. They kept her safe until I arrived to collect her.
“When I first picked her up she was covered from head to toe in faeces and smelled so awful.
"You couldn’t actually tell what colour she was meant to be.
“Dumping a dog for any reason is heartbreaking, but to think that this poor girl was so poorly and also in the midst of labour is just tragic."
Search for person who abandoned Florence
Nicola is searching for the owner who abandoned Florence.
She added: “I really want to find the owner of this dog and would urge anyone who has any information or who may recognise her to contact the RSPCA immediately on our inspector’s appeal line number on 0300 123 8018.
“The long dark alleyway is extremely difficult to find and leads to a park area, so it could be that the person who dumped poor Florence could be local and knows the area.
"It is also clear that Florence has had numerous puppies in the past and was probably a breeding dog, so therefore if anyone thinks they have had a puppy from her we would also urge them to get in touch.
“Florence is very poorly but staff at the hospital are doing all they can to make her comfortable and we just hope she has the strength to pull through.”
In 2017 the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty hotline received 55,821 calls over Christmas (December 1 - December 31).
More than 8,000 animals spent Christmas in the charity's care last year.
This Christmas, the charity is asking the public to support Delivering Kindness at Christmas.
You can donate to the RSPCA campaign on the charity's website.