RSPCA condemn shocking attack on adorable hedgehog which was 'kicked to death' in Sunderland
Police are investigating after an adorable hedgehog named ‘Little Man’ was reportedly kicked to death in a shocking attack in Sunderland.
The creature had endeared himself to the community as a regular visitor to residents gardens on Hayton Close, Sunderland, for around three years.
But on Tuesday, September 10, he suffered severe injuries after being kicked repeatedly in the street by a group of youngsters, according to a devastated resident.
One resident said she saw three youngsters aged around 13 kicking the adult hedgehog just outside of her home just before 10pm.
She rushed out of her home to stop the attack, where she found the poor animal seriously injured.
After nursing him through the night she took him to King’s Road Vets the following morning, but due to the severity of his injuries, vets were left with no option but to put him to sleep.
The devastated resident said: “The hedgehog has been coming into my garden for three years so I am heartbroken that his life was taken in such a cruel way.
“We called him the Little Man and he had grown quite confident to the point where he was starting to take food out of my hand.
“What they have done is disgusting.”
The resident has reported the incident to the RSPCA and Northumbria Police who are investigating the incident.
She continued: “I want to make people aware of what they have done.
“It’s frightening if kids are doing things like that at such a young age.”
Condemning the incident an RSPCA spokesperson said: "This sounds shocking and upsetting.
"We urge anyone with information to contact Northumbria Police, or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999."
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Shortly after 12pm on September 11, police received a report of animal cruelty on Hayton Close, Sunderland.
“It was reported that the previous evening a trio of teenagers had been seen kicking a hedgehog down the street.
“Officers and the RSPCA were alerted and inquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact officers via 101 and quote reference number 374 11/09/19.