Desperate drought-affected farmers in Queensland and NSW are being forced to relinquish their beloved working dogs, rescue groups say.
One-year-old Dingle, was thin and malnourished when she was found abandoned in drought-ravaged NSW.
Australian Working Dog Rescue took in the kelpie, nursed her back to health and rehomed her on a farm near Goondiwindi, on the NSW/Queensland border.
AWDR CEO Carey Edwards says Dingle is just one of many working dogs left homeless by the drought in NSW and Queensland.
He says it's unfathomable that circumstances are so dire that farmers are surrendering their hard-working, four-legged companions, which are usually hard to acquire and can cost up to $20,000.
"I can't even imagine things getting so bad that I have to rehome my best friends who I work with on a daily basis simply because I've got no way to feed them," he told AAP on Wednesday.
"It must be the most incredible set of circumstances for people to even contemplate doing that, let alone having to do it."
Mr Edwards said the plight of dumped working dogs was one of the sad, unseen consequences of the drought but his organisation and the public could lend a hand.
"We can help the farmers, and we can help these dogs."
The best way for the public to help was to foster ditched working dogs until they could be permanently adopted or returned to their original owners.
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Australian Associated Press