Animal activists fear a local is torturing puppies in a Romanian city after four dogs were found covered in hot tar, reports Daily Mail.
In the distressing image four puppies were seen lying on a dusty track caked in the black muck.
Lying helpless under the sweltering sun they were taken in a critical condition to a vet in the city of Iasi, in north-eastern Romania.
This is the second case of puppies in the city being found covered in tar.
Last month two dogs, called Ada and Ava, were found crumpled on a piece of cardboard. Volunteers from the 'Sky Foundation for Animal Rights' took the puppies in and rescued them.
Speaking about the latest case Cătălin Pavaliu, founder of the organisation, said: 'We're starting to think there's someone in the city who does these kinds of cruel acts on purpose.'
Sorin Puiu, the vet who had to put the dogs under an anaesthetic to remove the tar, said: 'The puppies were in a critical condition but they are now stable.
During the incident last month it was reported how the police officer had said he had no intention of 'wasting his time' by investigating the crime.
The puppies are currently at the clinic where they will stay under observation for at least a week. They will then be given up for adoption.
Animal welfare is a cause for concern in Romania with fears raised by the Foreign Office about widespread animal cruelty in the cash-strapped nation.