Vigil in memory of dog destroyed by police to take place in Hartlepool
A vigil in memory of a dog which was destroyed by police in Hartlepool will take place tonight.
Officers from Cleveland Police destroyed the distressed German Shepherd on Sunday morning in the town.
The animal had been tied to a pole in the Mainsforth Terrace area.
The force today confirmed they have received a number of complaints since the incident took place.
The move has sparked outrage online and over 74,000 people, with more than 28,000 from the UK, have signed a petition set up to protest the police handling of the situation.
Organisers say the vigil, which will take place in Mainsforth Terrace, will be a 'peaceful protest' as to the authorities' handling of the incident.
Following the incident a Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: "We were alerted to the presence of the dog and staff from our dog warden service attended the scene.
"As soon as it became apparent that the dog posed a potential danger, the matter became the responsibility of the police."
An RSPCA statement said: "This was a difficult and distressing police-led incident with an outcome which no one wanted.
"We attended to help the police and dog warden and sought independent vet advice to try and find a non-lethal solution.
"The dog had been seen by someone from another charity and there was concern that if the dog escaped she could have hurt someone.
"The police informed us that using a tranquiliser dart on the dog was not an option.
"The RSPCA believes that abandoning any dog is totally unacceptable and in this case had tragic consequences.
"Any information about who might have done this, please contact the Hartlepool Police, quoting log number CVP/18/011857."