The heartbreaking discovery of the grey and white XL bully-type was made by a member of the public on Monday as they walked through the woods in Barrow Hill, in the Belbroughton area of Stourbridge.
The RSPCA is now appealing for information, believing the dog was alive when it was tied to the tree by its lead.
Inspector Thea Kerrison said: “This is a truly heartbreaking incident and it is so upsetting to think that this poor dog died alone while waiting to be discovered.
"The area where he was abandoned is remote and he was tied to a tree which wasn’t near a pathway - so whoever did this cruel act likely did so with the intention of the dog not being found."
Snow remained on the ground nearby on the day the dog was found, after sub-zero temperatures hit the region in the days prior to the discovery.
Other photos of the dog, which the Express & Star has chosen not to publish, show the dog on its side on the floor, with its chain lead wrapped around the tree trunk.
“He was found lying down on his side as though he had gone to sleep," inspector Kerrison continued. "It was so cold on the day he was found - temperatures were -5C. It is unbearable to think how scared he must have been.
“The dog was microchipped and we have made enquiries; however the address on the chip doesn’t exist and the mobile number doesn’t work. But whoever abandoned the dog has to be someone local to know of this remote area.
"We are appealing for anyone who has information to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018 so we can look into what happened. There must be someone in the area who recognises this dog and knows who he belonged to.”