ANIMAL protection officers have launched an investigation after three dogs were abandoned in a van in Greenock.

The Scottish SPCA was drafted in after the caucasian mountain dogs were cruelly left in the parked vehicle on Greenock's Sutherland Road for several days.

Residents provided food and water through a narrowly opened window and raised the alarm.

They contacted local kennel owner Allison Black and she got in touch with the authorities, who are now probing the unusual incident after taking the dogs into their care.

Allison, who runs Brueacre Kennels in Inverkip, said: "It was heartbreaking.

"I've been told that the dogs were actually left in the front of the van for a week.

"Someone got into the van and took them and brought them down to me.

"They were very distressed.

"It's terrible, especially in the heat of some of the late summer days we have had recently.

"At least they are living and breathing.

"I feel quite emotional about what these dogs have been put through.

"If I could keep them all I would."

Allison says she was told that the SSPCA know who the owner is.

They are said to have been given seven days to come forward collect the dogs.

Allison said: "Obviously I don't know the full story and the person's circumstances.

"But dogs are living creatures, you can't just abandon them.

"If the owner was struggling, they could have phoned me and I would have helped.

"It's not right having dogs sitting out in the front of a van."

Allison says the animals are worth thousands of pounds.

The Tele contacted the Scottish SPCA, but they would not be drawn on their inquiry into the case.

Chief inspector Laura McIntyre said: "As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment any further at this time."