Police call for calm as burned and mutilated dog case not thought to be suspicious

Police have called for calm after the death of a dog found mutilated on a Sunderland pathway.

Monday, 12th March 2018, 8:48 pm
Updated Monday, 12th March 2018, 9:00 pm
Claxheugh Rocks.

Officers quashed rumours on social media hat a gang of youths killed the male Rottweiler dog and burned its body beside Sunderland riverside.

And they have now called for calms after a number of threatening messages were shared on social networking sites.

The Echo previously reported that animal charity worker Lisa Scott, who runs city charity Happier Days for Strays was left sickened when she was alerted to the gruesome discovery in South Hylton last week.The RSPCA said at the time that it was unclear if the canine, believed to be aged between eight and 11-years-old, was set on fire before or after he died.

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Police received a report on Tuesday that the dog had been found dead in the Claxheugh Rocks area of South Hylton.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We are aware of reports circulating on social media and locally that the dog was killed by local youths.

"A number of people have subsequently shared threatening messages as a result of the reports.

"A joint investigation between police and the RSPCA is now underway after the dog’s body was recovered.

"Inquiries are ongoing, however, we do not believe that any criminal offence has taken place.

"It is understood that the dog has been buried in the location, having died from natural causes.

Sunderland West Neighbourhood Inspector Tony Carty added. “We take any act of cruelty towards animals very seriously, but in this instance we do not believe the circumstances to be suspicious.

"We are working with the RSPCA to find out exactly what has happened, and I would urge local residents to remain calm and not to take the law into their own hands.

"We would always encourage people to call us if they have these types of concerns and we will take appropriate action.”