RSPCA inspector Will Lamping was called to Sacred Heart Church in Talbot Road, after a brindle and white Staffie cross was found tied up next to the altar with a hand-written note.
The church is open 24 hours a day for worshippers and staff discovered the dog when they arrived in the morning on 18 December.
The note said: ‘Please believe me when I say I haven’t done this easily. My dog means the world to me and I don’t know what else to do. I’ve no home or money now for him. Life has taken a really bad turn for me and I couldn’t imagine him being outside with me cold and hungry. He is a placid, friendly, loving dog. He will be seven years old on 22 March 2020. He has got quite tender front paws, I’ve been treating them for about a month now but they are still sore. My heart is broken and I will truly miss him more than words can say. I hope he can be found a new home he deserves. I love you and I am so so so sorry xxxx’
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Will collected the little dog and took him for a check-up at a local vet. He’s now being cared for at a private boarding kennels nearby where he’s been nicknamed Cracker.
Will said: “It’s so sad to read the note and see how much Cracker’s previous owner loved him. Unfortunately sometimes life can throw some pretty tough things at people and circumstances can drastically change but it’s heartbreaking to think that someone out there is missing Cracker and wondering how he is doing.
“I’d really like to reassure them that he’s doing well and is getting lots of TLC. If no one comes forward to claim him then he’ll go to one of our rehoming centres and we’ll find him a wonderful new home.
“If anyone does come forward then I’d like to let them know that they won’t be in any trouble and we’d like to chat to them and see how we might be able to help them, and Cracker.”
Will added: “I’d really like to remind anyone who might be struggling to care for their pet or who may be having difficulties in life that there are people and organisations out there who can help you.
“If you’re struggling to take care of a pet then please reach out to your vet, a local rescue centre or charity, or one of the national charities like the RSPCA.
“And if you’re having difficulties with finances, housing or find yourself homeless then there are people who can help you. Please just ask for help. We are not here to judge you and simply want the best for you and your animals.”