Puppies were found dumped at a farm in Wendover – the same spot where six dogs were abandoned last year.

The discovery was reported to the RSPCA by a woman who spotted the five puppies at the gated entrance to a field on Thursday, February 22.

The charity believes the animals may have come from a nearby puppy farm and were abandoned after they failed to sell.

RSPCA inspector, Rachel Smith, said: “We are treating this as an abandonment but it seems clear to me that these dogs have come from somewhere nearby where dogs are being bred.

“I believe they were dumped as ‘bad stock’ - puppies which have failed to sell - and the traders didn’t want to spend any more money on them.

“I don’t believe it can be a coincidence that we had a very similar incident last year in which six puppies were found abandoned at the same spot.”

The puppies - a four-month-old shih tzu cross called Hugo and four eight-month-old puggles called Beatrice, Esra, Gerard and Lucy - were all taken to a local vet where they received treatment for fleas, worms and skin conditions.

In August six dogs were discovered in the same spot and then taken to the vets before being taken in by the RSPCA, and later rehomed.

Ms Smith continued: “These were similar breeds and types of dogs, of similar ages, dumped at the same site.

“When dogs of different breeds - mostly fashionable, designer breeds - are dumped together in a remote area like this it seems extremely suspicious to me.

“I suspect they may have been abandoned by an unscrupulous puppy breeder after they failed to sell. This is, sadly, the reality of the underground puppy trade - where money is put ahead of the welfare of the dogs.”

The RSPCA has urged anyone thinking of getting a dog to consider rescuing, and those who are buying a puppy should ensure they have found a reliable breeder before parting with their cash.

The RSPCA’s puppy contract should also be consulted before buying a puppy, according to the charity.

Anyone with information which may help the investigation should call 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for inspector Smith.