But an animal rescue charity was yesterday inundated with offers to give Kai, a shar pei-crossbreed, a new home after the dog’s sad story went viral on the internet.
The Scottish SPCA said the dog was discovered tied to a railing outside Ayr train station. His belongings were packed in a case and left beside him.
Kai was said to have been sold on the Gumtree website in 2013 and the charity has appealed for information to help trace whoever bought him.
The young dog’s plight caught the public’s imagination yesterday, resulting in an influx of interest in adopting him.
The charity said that it had been bombarded with phone calls from people offering to re-home Kai. An SSPCA spokeswoman said: “The phone’s been ringing off the hook all day. We’ve had over 100 offers to take him on. It’s really unusual to get that sort of interest.
“Normally, when we get an abandonment, it’s usually a staffie and we don’t tend to get many offers to re-home them, but when it’s an unusual breed or a particularly cute one, then we get a lot of interest. I’m sure Kai’s story has tugged at a lot of heartstrings.”
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On Twitter, the story was retweeted repeatedly, with even Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who owns two terriers, joining in, while Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh took to the microblogging site to describe the way Kai had been left as “despicable”, tweeting: “If I was in Ayr that boy would be coming home with Welshy. Yes he would! Yes he would!”
The SSPCA’s Facebook site became the focus for public support for Kai and outrage at his abandonment, receiving more than 1,000 messages.
Gordon Kinsella, who offered to re-home the dog, wrote that he had said hello to Kai at the station, unaware he was abandoned: “I was down in Ayr railway station and approached the dog and gave him a rub, etc. I had no idea he was abandoned. I would’ve taken him in had I known. He was a brilliant dog and very friendly.”
Eileen Ritchie wrote: “Poor, poor boy, how sad to be ‘sold’ on Gumtree, then abandoned. Hope they find the idiot that did this, they obviously don’t deserve to have pets. Hope he finds a forever loving home soon.”
And Amanda Hinton added: “Cannot believe anyone could do this. Poor Kai, they could have handed him to somewhere for free that could help. Leaving him in the street could lead to him landing in the wrong hands, no excuse for it.”
Stewart Taylor, an SSPCA inspector, described it as “a cruel incident”: “The dog is microchipped and we were able to find out his name is Kai.
“We contacted the owner registered to the microchip, who stated they had sold Kai on Gumtree in 2013. Unfortunately they could not tell us the address of the person who bought him.
“This highlights the potential consequences of selling an animal online, as it often leads to the impulse buying of pets that people know very little about.
“Regardless of the fact Kai was left with his belongings, this was still a cruel incident and we are keen to identify the person responsible. If anyone can help we would ask them to get in touch as soon as possible.” He added: “Kai is around two to three years old and is a lovely dog with a nice nature. We will look after him until we can find him a permanent and loving home.”
He is now being cared for at the charity’s centre in Glasgow.
The charity said that abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so could be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
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