Boys aged 11 and 14 arrested in connection with death of Sunderland hedgehog which died in 'sickening’ attack
Two boys have been arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after a hedgehog was reportedly ‘kicked to death’ during an attack in Sunderland.
The adorable hedgehog named ‘Little Man’ by residents, was said to have suffered severe injuries after he was kicked repeatedly in an attack in Hayton Close, Sunderland.
Following the incident, which took place at around 10pm on Tuesday, September 10, the animal was taken to King’s Road Vets, but due to the severity of his injuries vets were left with no option but to put him to sleep.
Now Northumbria Police have confirmed that two boys, aged 11 and 14, have both have been arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The pair have been released under investigation and police inquiries are ongoing.
PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: "An investigation is ongoing after we received a report of animal cruelty on Hayton Close, Sunderland.
"It was reported that a group of teenagers had been seen kicking a hedgehog down the street on the evening of September 10.
“As a result, an investigation was launched to identify those responsible.
"Two boys - aged 14 and 11 – were arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
“Both have been released under investigation and inquiries are ongoing.
"I would like to thank members of the public who have already come forward with information, and would ask anyone else that witnessed the incident to contact 101 quoting reference 374 110919."
In a separate effort to find those responsible for the attack, The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) has offered a reward of £1,000 for any witness statement that leads to successful prosecution of the culprits.
Fay Vass, chief executive of the BHPS said “This is a cowardly and sickening act.
“The pain and fear the poor hedgehog must have gone through is heartbreaking.
“We thank the finder for all their efforts to save this little one and the police for acting so quickly.
“We urge any witnesses to the attack to report it immediately to ensure the culprits face the fullest most severe punishment possible for carrying out such a despicable crime.”