AN EMACIATED dog left to starve in a bog was probably used for breeding, and then dumped when she was no longer of use.
But the boxer made her way into a farmyard beside Bohermeen bog near Athboy, Co Meath, just after Christmas and the owners of the farm took her in.
They contacted the Last Hope charity dog rescue in Meath which is now caring for the boxer, christened Eve.
When volunteer Rachel Farrelly went out to check on the dog, she said: "We realised that she was emaciated."
"Her spine is protruding, it is almost curved because she is used to gathering herself in because it is cold. Her ribs are also protruding and her skull points up in a kind of a cone and that shows how thin she is," she said.
"It is hard to tell what Eve was used for, to speculate we would say she was used for breeding, there are obvious signs from her that she was feeding litters of pups. It is quite likely that when she reached an age that she couldn't breed anymore that they would get rid of her then and dump her.
"That is the case with a lot of the older dogs that we take in."
The charity is celebrating its 10th anniversary and was delighted to get foster homes for all of its dogs over Christmas and the New Year.
However the constant stream of abandoned dogs meant that by New Year's Eve all the kennels had been filled before the fostered dogs even returned.
But the charity is hopeful that Eve will recover from her ordeal and be re-homed.
Last Hope founder Hilary Bartley said: "It would have taken months of starvation for Eve to get to this state."
Despite her ordeal, Eve, who is about nine years old, has a gentle nature.
Bogs are often chosen as dumping grounds for unwanted dogs because, "they are the most remote areas where a dog can be left to die. It is a very selfish and callous thing to do".
Ms Farrelly said: "She is one of the lucky ones."
The charity is seeing an increase in the abuse of dogs.