RSPCA believe report of greyhound thrown into the sea was not isolated incident

An image of a dog being thrown into the sea at Hartlepool.
An image of a dog being thrown into the sea at Hartlepool.

A report of a greyhound being thrown into the freezing sea in Hartlepool is not believed to be an isolated incident.

RSPCA officers are now investigating two reports of the animals being flung into the sea and suspect they are connected.

Putting them in the sea at this time of year is potentially life-threatening to this breed

Rita James

Photographs of the dog being flung into the sea, near the Brus Tunnel area, have sparked national outrage among dog-lovers and RSPCA officers are still urging anyone with information to come forward.

The Mail previously reported that a member of the public had witnessed three men with nine muzzled greyhounds at the sea, through the Brus Tunnel area of the town.

And, after walking out on a structure into the sea, one of the men was seen repeatedly throwing a dog into the water and yanking it back out on a long line.

A second person, who was some distance away with his children, came forward with photographs from what was believed was the same incident.

However, it later emerged the photographs had been taken a week earlier.

A spokesman for the RSPCA, said: “We are still making inquiries after we received a report that a group of men with a number of dogs were seen in Hartlepool repeatedly throwing one of the dogs - a greyhound - into the water last Thursday, November 2.

“An inspector attended the scene but the group were no longer there.

“Since then we have been contacted by a member of the public who provided photos of what appears to be a man throwing a greyhound into the water the week before, Thursday, October 26.

“Anyone who may have witnessed either of these incidents, or may have more information, should contact us on 0300 1234 999.”

Rita James, a spokeswoman for the charity, CAGED, Campaign Against Greyhound Exploitation and Death, said incident could easily have killed the dog.

She said: “Greyhounds are not a hardy breed at all and there is no body fat on them to provide insulation.

“They are hyper sensitive to temperatures and they suffer a lot of ailments.

“Putting them in the sea at this time of year is potentially life-threatening to this breed.”

Rita said greyhounds also have very thin necks and if the animal was dragged out of the sea by a rope around its neck, it could cause terrible injury.

The witness who took the photographs and who did not wish to be named, said he and his children were left shaken by what they saw happening to the dogs.

He said: “They were being carried out to the end of the structure and unceremoniously flung in from a height of about 4ft and a distance, through the air, of 6ft. The waves were quite strong.”