A CHARITY has hit out after a thoughtless dog owner abandoned three animals in a field near Meysey Hampton.

The RSPCA said a member of the public saw the three male Staffordshire bull terrier-type dogs being released from a dark 4x4 vehicle in the Cotswold village, near Fairford.

One of the dogs then strayed on to the road and was hit by a car but was uninjured.

The RSPCA said one of the dogs, a young crossbreed, was "underweight and has been undernourished for some time."

A mature, three-legged, white and black Staffordshire bull terrier, and a white and tan Staffie, were also left last Thursday.

RSPCA inspector Josie Oak said: "I have to thank the member of the public who rescued these dogs when they needed help.

"It is truly shocking that someone could consider it acceptable behaviour to discard the dogs loose in a field as by doing so they were putting their lives in real danger.

"This is very clear to all to see as one of the dogs strayed onto a road and was hit by a car and it is no thanks to the person who dumped them that the dog was not seriously injured or killed."

"The dogs are quite distinctive so I am hoping that someone will recognise them and come forward with any information."

Inspector Oak said it was possible that the dogs had been stolen and then dumped.

The RSPCA said it rehomed more Staffordshire bull terriers in 2009 than any other type of dog.

Calls can be made to the RSPCA national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.