AN abandoned puppy was found dumped in a cardboard box on one of the coldest nights of the year.

Animal charity bosses say the tiny Jack Russell terrier cross would have died in the below freezing temperatures had he not been found.

The male puppy, who Scottish SPCA rescue workers have named Beans, was found in Hamilton in a park near to Quarry Street.

Believed to be around eight weeks old, he is being cared for at the charity's rehoming centre.

And now the Scottish SPCA is appealing for information about who abandoned him.

Scottish SPCA rescue officer Sarah Parker said: "We are grateful to the member of the public who took him in and kept him safe overnight.

"The night in question was the coldest so far this year and temperatures were below freezing.

"Had he not been found, Beans would have almost certainly died so we are keen to find out the circumstances surrounding how he came to be in the park.

"He is friendly so we suspect he is used to human contact.

"One of our animal rescue and rehoming centres is providing the care he needs.

"The team have affectionately named him Beans.

"If anyone has any information, we would urge them 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.

Anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.