The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is searching for the owners of two dogs who were abandoned in a backyard in Brentwood.

Neighbors of the house at 317 Whipple St. had called the nonprofit reporting that the dogs, a pit bull and a small white dog of an unknown breed, had been in the yard for months, and that the owners had not been seen for several days, said SPCA chief Roy Gross.

When SPCA detectives arrived, they found the dogs in broiling heat without food, water or shelter, Gross said.

SPCA detectives seized both dogs on Saturday night after determining that the small dog, matted and bitten by fleas, was near death. Both dogs were taken to an emergency veterinary hospital, where the small dog was receiving blood transfusions, Gross said.

It appeared that the pit bull, which was found in better health, had been surviving on food thrown over the fence by worried onlookers, but the small dog must have been too weak to get to the food, Gross said.

"To leave it behind like old garbage?" Gross said. "That's cruel to say the least. It's just so wrong. How do you do something like that?"

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Gross said the agency is now investigating and the owners could face criminal charges. Meanwhile, the agency is also seeking donations from the public for the small dog's veterinary bills, which likely will total in the thousands.

"It's a real sweet dog," Gross said. "Hopefully the dog's going to make it -- it's that bad."