A tiny Jack Russell abandoned on the side of the road by its owner in scorching heat has been photographed desperately trying to chase down the car as it sped off.
Nicole Crossley was mowing her nature strip in Mickleham, in Melbourne's northern outskirts, at 11am on Sunday when she noticed a four-wheel drive pulled up on the corner of Mount Ridley Road and Farleigh Court.
The driver dumped the small dog, believed to the be a Jack Russell, on the road before driving off. The dog bravely gave chase in the 37-degree heat but couldn't catch the SUV.
Nicole Crossley spotted a dog being abandoned (pictured) in Mickleham, in Melbourne's northern outskirts, on Sunday morning
'The poor little one chased and kept up with car for a while on foot, but I lost sight of it after it approached the bend,' Ms Crossley wrote in a Facebook group for missing pets.
'I’ve just spent the last hour in the car and on foot trying to find the poor little dog to no avail.'
Ms Crossley was 100 metres away and her photo didn't catch the car's number plate.
She is now calling for others help to find the dog and identify the owner of the vehicle, which is believed to be a mid-late 2000s model Mercedes Benz L Class.
Her Facebook post featuring the photo has been shared more than 1600 times, with many outraged that someone could desert their pet.
'So sad, especially with the heat today. If only they just handed the little guy over to someone instead of just dumping him,' one person wrote.
'This makes my blood boil,' another added.
'Poor dog. I hope a better home is not too far away,' a third said.
Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it is illegal to abandon an animal of a species usually kept in a state of confinement or for a domestic purpose.
Ms Crossley spent more than an hour looking for the dog (pictured) after it chased the car, but it was no where to be seen
RSPCA Victoria said it has received reports regarding the incident and it is currently being investigated.
'Abandonment of an animal comes with many dangers to their life, such as being exposed to road accidents, or being unable to access food or water,' an RSPA Victoria spokesperson said.
'It also exposes them to the elements, such as extreme heat, which can result in heat stress or heatstroke.'
The animal welfare charity added that abandoning a pet should never be an option.
'RSPCA Victoria urges pet owners who may no longer be able to look after their animals to surrender them to an animal shelter, where they can be cared for and found a new, loving home,' the spokesperson said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Hume City Council for comment.
For any animal cruelty concerns, please make a report to RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate by calling 9224 2222 or lodging an official report via www.rspcavic.org/reportcruelty.