THE RSPCA is appealing for information after a puppy was found abandoned in a cat basket in the New Forest.

A concerned member of the public called the animal rescue charity after hearing the dog while walking on Ballard Common on Lake Grove Road, in New Milton, on Thursday evening.

The basket was found at around 9.30pm inside the gateway to the common, about three metres from the path.

The member of the public kept the puppy overnight until RSPCA Inspector Jo Story collected it on Friday morning.

The puppy - thought to be a bull mastiff cross - is around four months old.

Insp Story said she was thin and nervous and had initially been left with no food or water.

The puppy is currently being looked after at an RSPCA centre.

Insp Story said: “We have had a spike in abandonments in the area recently, with all types of animals being left.

“I’m not sure what has triggered this but we would ask people to think about their animals as it is very distressing for them to be left.

“If anyone knows anything about this puppy they are urged to call our inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 by texting HELP to 78866. Text costs £3 plus one standard network rate message.