Six puppies were found dumped on the side of the road in the Chilterns last week, sparking an investigation.

It is feared the dogs were rejected from a puppy farm after a passer-by found them huddled together at the entrance to a field in Wendover on Wednesday, August 2.

The woman, who asked not to be named, took the puppies home and contacted the RSPCA before taking them to the vets.

She said: “They were all huddled together in a corner and one puppy was yapping to raise the alarm.

“We dashed there with our crate and some water and quickly rounded them up and brought them home. They were cold and wet, underweight and all had skin problems. They had matted fur and were covered in sawdust.

“It was most unusual because they were all different breeds. I have a feeling they were rejects from a puppy farm because they were all either runts or had something wrong with them, perhaps they just didn’t sell.

“It was awful, it really opened my eyes to what’s going on out there with the breeding of puppies.”

The dogs are a variety of breeds including a beagle, Yorkshire terrier, Ihasa apso, puggle and two poodle crosses.

After being treated by the vet they were taken to the RSPCA’s Chiltern branch where they are now being cared for by fosterers.

RSPCA inspector Lauren Bailey said: “The dogs were absolutely petrified and were in quite a state.

“It’s strange to have a group of puppies of totally different breeds dumped together. The fact that they’re quite ‘fashionable’ breeds and crossbreeds means I suspect they may have been abandoned by an unscrupulous puppy breeder after they failed to sell.

“This is the reality of the underground puppy trade and one we are really trying to raise awareness of. If you’re buying a puppy this summer, please consider rescuing. If buying from a breeder be really, really careful before parting with your money and taking home a dog.

“ We’d advise anyone who is buying a puppy should use our Puppy Contract which can help ensure you bring home a happy and healthy dog.

“These poor, vulnerable pups were abandoned beside a road and left to fend for themselves.

“They could have easily been hit by a car or succumbed to the cold and wet weather we’ve been having.”

Anyone who sees an abandoned animal or an animal in distress is asked to call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.