SICK thieves allegedly stole, tortured and then killed a family’s pet rabbit.
The thugs are said to have taken the white lionhead breed from its hutch in a house in Dawdon, near Seaham, in an overnight theft.
They are then said to have taken a bath with the animal, before setting it on fire and throwing it out of a window.
Two men, aged 19 and 20 and a teen, aged 17, have been arrested and bailed over the incident and another 16-year-old remains in custody.
The RSPCA have been notified over the death of the rabbit, with a spokeswoman for the organisation saying: “This sounds like a very disturbing incident which is being investigated by police.
“An RSPCA inspector has been in contact with the investigating police officer and we are happy to offer any assistance needed.”
A spokesman for Durham Police said: “Police are investigating the theft and subsequent death of a white lionhead rabbit.
“The rabbit is believed to have been stolen from its hutch in the Dawdon area of Seaham sometime between Friday evening, June 27, and Saturday morning, June 28.
“Three men have been arrested today in connection with this.
“Anyone who has any information regarding this incident is urged to contact Durham Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number DHM-29062014-0153.”