Police quash rumours that youths killed dog found dead by river in Sunderland
Police today quashed social media rumours that a gang of youths killed a dog and burned its body beside Sunderland riverside.
Officers received a report on Tuesday that a 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.”