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Heartless owners

Australia frantically searches for dog with mouth taped shut

A frantic plea is going out across Australia, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in a search for a dog spotted with its mouth taped shut.

The Courier Mail in Queensland reports the dog was last seen running across a highway in Ipswich.

Truckers have been reporting in with sightings, but no one has been able to capture the animal yet.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty told the Courier the dog seems to be a German Shepherd cross and in "very bad condition."

"We are urging anyone who has any information or has seen the dog again to come forward," he said. "It's just going to die in this heat. It won't be able to drink and certainly can't eat." (It's the height of summer in Australia.)

Beatty said if the dog's owners are found, they will likely face charges of animal cruelty and abandonment.

"The main thing we want to do is find the dog and get the tape off its muzzle," he said. "Hopefully, it can make a full recovery but the longer this goes on the harder that will be."

RSPCA Inspector Laurie Stageman said, "If it's not caught soon it will be probably dehydrate and that's a horrible way to die."

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