Police in Germany have confiscated a dog after its owner starved it so it could fit in her hand luggage.

A police patrol in Nuremberg noticed the woman, identified only as Gerda M. walking her dog Leonie in the city centre.

The large mixed-breed dog, named Leonie, only weighed 12kg. It should have weighed more than twice that.

The dog was taken to a pet shelter. The owner told Bild: "I have seen many miserable things - but never something this cruel. This dog should be weighing at least 25 kilos," he said.

He said the owner told him she was trying to get the dog down to 5kg in weight so she could take it on a plane as part of her hand luggage.

But Gerda M. claims she hasn't done any wrong. "I always looked after it well", she said.

Ananova