An emaciated American bulldog that was found tied to a tree below a bridge in Diggers Rest recently is on the improve, and the hunt is now on for its owner.

Bella, was found by a member of the public on November 17 in a poor condition, suffering significant injuries that appear to be inflicted maliciously.

She was taken to an emergency vet where she received a number of blood transfusions and is now in recovery.

RSPCA Victoria inspector team leader Karen Collier said it was an horrific act of cruelty and Bella was lucky to be alive.

“We found Bella near Jackson’s Creek behind a small hill, nestled in bushes littered with garbage and debris. It’s a miracle she was found at all,” Ms Collier said.

“She’s clearly suffered abuse and has been treated in a way no animal deserves. But despite the immense trauma she has been through she’s an extremely sweet, good-natured dog. Far too forgiving considering her experience.

“After several blood transfusions, Bella’s blood cell count is slowly improving and her condition is stable.

Vets will continue to monitor her neck wound and blood work to ensure she receives plenty of care.”

Bella was located near Jackson’s Creek, underneath the Holden Bridge off Bulla-Diggers Rest Road in Diggers Rest.

The RSPCA say Bella was most likely left there between November 8 and 17, but more likely between November 15 and 17.

They are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

“We are asking anyone who recognises Bella or has information about this incident to make a report and please come forward to help us identify the person or persons responsible for this act of cruelty,” a spokesperson said.

Anyone with information can make a report by calling 9224 2222 or visit rspcavic.org

By Ewen McRae