Police appeal to find owner of 'aggressive' dog shot in Hartlepool
Cleveland Police are appealing for information to help trace the owners of an 'aggressive' dog which was shot in Hartlepool.
The German Shepherd dog was found tied to a post in Mainsforth Terrace in the town at 10.07am on Sunday and Cleveland Police said that after efforts to calm the animal and trace its owner proved unsuccessful, the decision was taken to destroy it.
Following the incident nearly 90,000 people have signed a petition calling for 'justice' with regard to the way the incident was handled, and asking that the Independent Police Complaints Commission look into the case.
On social media many people have said the dog was owned by an elderly couple, but today police have said they cannot corroborate such claims circling on social media.
Police have already revealed that the animal was microchipped, but not registered, meaning that attempts to trace the dog's owner have so far proved unsuccessful.
And now the force has launched an appeal for information to help trace the owner of the dog.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "There has been no owner come forward – therefore we cannot confirm that the owners were an elderly couple.
"In relation to the appeal, if anyone has any information regarding the owner of the dog they should contact Cleveland Police on 101."
Meanwhile, a vigil has been planned by protesters to take place in Mainsforth Terrace at 6pm tonight and organisers say the vigil will be a 'peaceful protest' as to the authorities' handling of the incident.