Two bearded dragons were found dead and another severely ill in a remote spot in Falkirk this week.
A member of the public discovered the animals which had been left to die on Wednesday in Tamfourhill Industrial Estate and alerted the SSPCA.
The animal welfare charity is now caring for the surviving creature which is in a critical condition and may not live.
One of the dead animals was just a shell after it had been eaten from the inside by maggots indicating they had been dumped at least a week ago.
SSPCA Inspector Sarah Gregory said: “I have no doubt that these bearded dragons were deliberately abandoned in this remote spot, which is completely unacceptable as well as a criminal offence.
“The one that was still alive was very thin and dehydrated. Sadly at this point we aren’t sure if he will make it.
“Bearded dragons are exotic animals that require specialist husbandry, including heat. Even the warm weather we’ve been experiencing isn’t hot enough for them.
“They’re not wild animals and can’t fend for themselves. It appears the person who abandoned them clearly didn’t care whether they lived or died.”
Abandoning animals is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. People found guilty of an offence can be banned from keeping animals for life.
The SSPCA is asking anyone who may know who owned the bearded dragons to contact them with information on 03000 999 999.