An animal welfare charity intervened after reports of a young puppy being "kicked around like a football" in the Mayorstone area of Limerick city.
Limerick Animal Welfare received two reports of the abuse and volunteers searched the area before discovering the animal in a distressed state against a wall.
Volunteers contacted gardaí at Mayorstone Garda Station to report the incident and the animal was admitted for medical treatment at a veterinary clinic.
The dog was severely injured with what is believed to be a fractured skull and a broken jaw after suffering what the charity called "unimaginable cruelty".
Less than 10 weeks old, the puppy is still receiving veterinary care after the horrific incident on Thursday.
No one has come to claim the animal despite Limerick Animal Welfare leaving a note at the scene.
Speaking to the, Marion Fitzgibbon, director, and chairperson of Limerick Animal Welfare, said the incident is one of many instances of abuse that is becoming more common in the area.
"These cases of totally mindless cruelty are really on the increase. It is worrying to see young people, young children, act this way," said Ms Fitzgibbon.
She said an increasing number of animals are being surrendered to the animal rescue as people return to the workplace.
Breeding dogs are also being given up as demand for puppies eases following the lifting of Covid restrictions.
She added that anti-social behaviour is contributing to the rising level of animal abuse in the area.
"It is very worrying, there is a lot of neglect and a lot of cruelty, a lot of dogs being turned in because of people going back to work," she said.
The charity is currently working to find homes for between 80-90 dogs and 100 or more kittens but said local support has remained strong.
There are concerns for the health of the abused puppy, named Dennis, due to his young age but the charity remains hopeful.
Donations in support of the charity's work can be made at limerickanimalwelfare.com