Campaigners hold protest calling for public inquiry into why dog was shot in Hartlepool
Campaigners are to stage a protest as they renew calls for a public inquiry into why a dog was shot dead in Hartlepool.
Many in the town were left upset after the Caucasian shepherd dog, who has been given the name Angel, was destroyed on a Sunday, January 21, in Mainsforth Terrace after the animal had been tied to a pole.
Dozens of dog lovers and owners attended a vigil just days after and laid candles, flowers and lights.
There were calls from many of those present for an independent investigation into the case as people said the animal did not have to be killed.
An online petition seeking justice for the dog was signed more than 92,000 times.
But Cleveland Police defended their decision to shoot the animal, saying at the time that they had worked together with a number of veterinary professionals, the RSPCA and a re-homing charity throughout.
They said this led to the decision to destroy the dog, saying it was extremely aggressive and unapproachable.
Now, a protest is set to take place on Sunday, at the site where the dog was killed, organised by the Justice for Angel group, which wants to raise awareness of the incident and make sure that nothing similar happens in future.
Jenna Davies, an administrator for the group, said: “Firstly we are requesting an open, public enquiry.
“We need to understand what went wrong that day.
“We do not want any of the mistakes made during that incident to be repeated and we need the authorities to be transparent about what happened so we can move forward.
“Secondly, our proposal is to implement a national register of local capture teams, animal behaviourists (breed specific) and sanctuaries.
“These will become first responders to all cases of abandoned or lost animals reported.
“We want all authorities to be trained in procedures and protocols so if this happens again they know who to contact to achieve the best outcome for the animal.
“We believe an animal must be assessed in a controlled environment by an expert in their field. RSPCA, vets and other authorities are not qualified enough to achieve this.
“We are working with local councillors and MP Mike Hill to implement these changes through law.
“What happened to Angel should never happen to any other animal.
“We need all the authorities involved to help us make these changes.”
The protest is due to take place at 2pm on Sunday in Mainsforth Terrace.
Organisers have invited town MP Mr Hill, the council, Cleveland Police chief constable Mike Veal, Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger and representatives from the RSPCA to attend.