Man interviewed by officers after Hartlepool police dog shooting

The Caucasian Shepherd, which was destroyed by police in Hartlepool.
The Caucasian Shepherd, which was destroyed by police in Hartlepool.

A man has been interviewed by police in connection with an incident which ended in a dog being shot by police in Hartlepool.

Cleveland Police said the 22-year-old was interviewed voluntarily by officers following the incident on Sunday, January 21.

The Caucasian shepherd was destroyed by police in Mainsforth Terrace, after being tied to a pole.

The force insisted it had become too aggressive to approach, leaving them with no alternative course of action.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “Police have voluntarily interviewed a 22-year-old local man in connection with an incident with a dog in Hartlepool on Sunday, January 21, and enquiries are ongoing.”

The decision to shoot the dog has caused an uproar.

A petition calling for an investigation into the shooting has amassed almost 200,000 signatures.

Former police dog handler Ralph Bantoft – who has been training problem dogs since 1967 – said that in 25 years as a dog handler, he never had to put one down.

Mr Bantoft, of Burwell Walk, Hartlepool, said: “It’s all about knowing what to do and how to do it, and I think Cleveland Police took some bad advice. A tethered dog barking is not an imminent threat to anyone at the scene, or the public at large."

Thousands of animal lovers attended a vigil for the dog near the scene where it was destroyed.

Cleveland Police have explained why they took the course of action which they did.
A statement from the force read: "Throughout the operation police worked together with a number of veterinary professionals, the RSPCA and a re-homing charity. "This led to the decision to destroy the dog, which was extremely aggressive and unapproachable."