AN investigation is underway after the body of a young male dog was found in a locked suitcase dumped in the River Mersey.

The pink suitcase - which was padlocked - was spotted by a dog walker at the side of the River Mersey near the Speke and Garston coastal reserve on Tuesday (January 11).

On closer inspection she could see the suitcase (below) had ripped and inside the body of the dog was visible so she reported the matter to the RSPCA.

Wirral Globe:

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said the pet - which was not microchipped - had blood loss from his nose and mouth and is keen to trace the owner of the pet.

He said: "I am treating this as suspicious as the dog had blood loss from his nose and mouth suggesting a blunt force trauma incident to the head could have caused the death of the dog.

"The fact the body was put in a suitcase which was padlocked and thrown into the river is also suspicious.

"Sometimes these injuries can be from road traffic accidents but x-rays have found no broken bones which would be expected - and the way the body was disposed of is clearly unusual.

"I am now keen to trace the owners of this dog and am appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.

"I think the body had been in the river only for a short period looking at the fact there was little decomposition."

He added that the suitcase in which the dog was found was also a distinctive pink colour with the name 'Chantell' written in black marker on the side so is hoping this may help to identify the owner of the pet.

Anyone with information should call the RSPCA appeals line on 0800 123 8018.