The SSPCA is appealing for witnesses after three rats were found dumped inside a toilet roll holder box in Fife.
The horrendous discovery was made by a member of the public who spotted the white container on Daniel Place in Rosyth on Friday.
The animal welfare charity was called and discovered the three critters, one of whom was suffering from a large tumour.
After seeking veterinary advice, the animal was put to sleep. The other two are recovering well from their ordeal.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Kelly McGuire said: “These three rats are lucky they were spotted by a vigilant person as they easily could have gone unnoticed.
“Unfortunately, one of the rats had a substantial mammary tumour and after being assessed by a vet, the decision was made to put him to sleep.
“We are unsure how long these poor guys were there for and they were left without any food and water in a box barely big enough to hold them.
“If anyone in the area recognises these three or has any information on who may have abandoned them, we would urge you to call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 with punishments including a lifetime ban from keeping animals.