The RSPCA has launched an investigation after the grisly charred body of a dog was discovered in a woodland.

The dog's body was found in Wanstead woods and appeared to have been doused in petrol and set on fire.

The animal welfare charity is appealing for information after being contacted by a woman who helps to find lost and missing dogs who had been alerted to the dog's body in Wanstead.

Investigating RSPCA Inspector Kate Ford said: "The woman was alerted to the dog’s body and took it into a local veterinary clinic before reporting it to us.

"The dog is microchipped with a European chip and registered as a four-month-old American bulldog called King Kaco. Sadly, the registered details appear to be incorrect.

"The dog’s body was badly burned and he had the remains of a red blanket charred into the skin on his back legs. I suspect he’d been wrapped in it before being dumped in the woods and set on fire.

"We currently have no evidence to suggest whether he was alive or dead when he was set on fire which is why we’re keen to speak to anyone with any information about where he’s come from or what happened to him.

"Vets who first examined the dog’s body said he smelt as though he’d been doused in petrol so it seems as though he was set on fire deliberately."

A second veterinary examination discovered that the dog’s body was completely charred on one side but not the side he was found lying on. Vets also discovered maggot eggs in his mouth and exposed bones in one paw, that was broken.

Anyone who can help the RSPCA investigation is urged to contact the charity’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.