The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after a heavily pregnant rat was found abandoned in a bag in Falkirk.
A member of the public walking his dog spotted a canvas Lidl shopping bag with the distressed pet inside on Wednesday afternoon (15 February) near Lime Road. He then took her to a local pet shop before calling the animal welfare charity.
The brown and white domestic rat, who has been named Buttons, is expected to give birth soon.
Inspector Leanne McPake said, "This was a particularly heartless act which involved a pregnant animal.
"A rat ball had been placed beside the bag Buttons was found in but she had no food or water and was left in an extremely vulnerable position.
"Buttons was abandoned in a remote spot and it is very lucky she was found by a responsible person who helped her.
"She has certainly been through an ordeal and we are keen to identify the cruel person who dumped her there."
Abandoning an animal is an offence that carries stiff penalties. Anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
Anyone with information relating to this abandonment is being urged to contact our Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.
Date: 17 Feb 2012