The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a cat was attacked and killed by a dog.
A member of public contacted the animal welfare charity after seeing a man and woman running along King Edward Street in Seaham with a black and grey lurcher that was carrying a long-haired tortoiseshell cat in its mouth.
Pictures of the dead animal have been provided by the RSPCA but we have chosen not to use them.
Inspector Catherine Maddison, investigating, said: “The witness told us that the man was speaking to the dog which then dropped the body of the cat in the road before the pair and the dog ran off along Strangways Street.
“When locals went out to investigate they found the cat was dead.
“A little while later the pair returned with a lurcher puppy and were trying to encourage the dog to go towards the cat’s body but, when the dog was seemingly uninterested, the man kicked the cat off the road and they all left the scene.”
The incident took place at around 11.30pm on Friday, March 30.
The man was described as white, in his 20s or 30s, of slim build with short dark hair, wearing a flat cap and a camouflage jacket.
The woman was describe as white, in her 20s or 30s, of average build with ginger/blonde hair in a ponytail and wearing a large backpack.
RSPCA inspector Maddison went to collect the body of the cat and took statements from the witnesses.
“The puss is microchipped but the chip isn’t registered so unfortunately we haven’t been able to trace an owner,” she said.
“We arranged for vets to check over the body and found the cat had broken his/her spine and dislocated a hip.
"His/her intestines were protruding and some claws were broken.
“The vet said these injuries are consistent with a dog attack which is why we’re investigating.
"We’d like to hear from anyone who saw what happened or who knows who this poor cat belongs to to get in touch with us by calling 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for me.”
To help the RSPCA investigate more complaints of animal cruelty donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give.