Scores of animal lovers attend vigil for shot dog
Animal lovers turned out in force to remember an abandoned dog that was shot by police in Hartlepool.
Scores of people attended a vigil close to where the Caucasian shepherd dog was destroyed on Sunday afternoon in Mainsforth Terrace after being tied to a pole.
Dozens of dog lovers and owners attended the vigil and laid candles, flowers and lights.
There were calls from those present for an independent investigation into the case as people said the animal did not have to be killed.
It comes as an online petition seeking justice for the dog has been signed more than 92,000 times.
Cleveland Police insist the dog had become too aggressive to approach and there was no alternative course of action.
One of the vigil organisers Joanne Twizell, who was there on Sunday, said: “I think everybody here agrees that dog didn’t need to die. I think it’s absolutely shocking to be honest.
“I’m amazed and thankful to everybody that came out, it shows how much you all care.
“I think it will be something that will live with us for a long time.”
A poster pinned to the fence read ‘Gone but never forgotten. Rest now Angel’.
The vigil’s other organiser Lynn Williamson added: “There was so much that could have been done for that dog.
“The reaction on social media has been absolutely unbelievable. I’ve got friends in America who are absolutely disgusted with Cleveland Police.”
Sarah Gate, 29, from Elwick, who has a Border Collie, was also there on Sunday.
She said: “Since then it has been playing on my mind. It’s just such a sad story.
“I just wanted to come and pay my respects really.” Wheelchair user Jackie Birse, from Norton, who attended with her German Shepherd Rottweiler cross, said: “I wanted to come to show my absolute disgust at the RSPCA and police.
“There was no need for this dog to die. I have defended the police in the past but never again.” Dean Moore, from Middlesbrough, attended with his own Caucasian Shepherd called Lunar.
He said: “I’ve just come to show how nice they are. Farmers use them a lot, they are gentle dogs.”
Police have said they exhausted all other options after a six-hour operation and discussions with vets, the RSPCA and a re-homing charity.