In a disturbing account on Sunday morning of an elderly German shepherd left tied to a telegraph pole in Hartlepool, England, police shot and killed the dog despite witnesses begging authorities to sedate and use a catch pole to rescue the extremely frightened dog instead. Police initially posted a public appeal hoping to find the owner:
“Urgent Appeal to Trace Owner of Dog
Police responded to a report of a German Shepherd tied to a telegraph pole on Mainsforth Terrace in Hartlepool at 10.07am this morning. Officers are urgently appealing to trace the owner of the dog or anyone who may know who the dog belongs to, to contact them as a matter of urgency on 999. The dog is described as an elderly German Shepherd and it is behaving extremely aggressively towards anyone who approaches it. Police would ask members of the public to stay away from the area whilst they deal with the incident.”
Eyewitness Joanne Twizell expressed her grief and experience as she arrived at the scene:
“… Cleveland Police have shot and KILLED an elderly GSD [German shepherd dog] left tied to a pole. It was f***ing tied up you could have approached it and darted. If you owned this dog you need a bullet straight between your eyes you scummy POS.”
Earlier Joanne stated she had tried to jump the fence to get to the dog, but couldn’t get over to help.
“Paul White Clare Pittman did all we could. I sat in car covered my ears and sobbed evil barbaric ****,” Joanne posted.
Video #1 (Caution- strong language)
Video #2 (Caution – strong language)
In the update, the Hartlepool News & Alerts stated that despite hours of working together with the police and the RSPCA, trying to calm the dog, the panicky dog became more aggressive. Cleveland Police posted the following account:
“The decision to destroy the dog has not been taken lightly and this was the very last course of action that we wanted to take. All attempts to calm the dog failed. Vets advised that they were unable to sedate the dog due to not being able to approach it and not having equipment to sedate from a distance. Unfortunately, veterinary professionals advised that the dog could not be rehomed due to its aggressive behavior. The decision taken, in conjunction with the RSPCA and veterinary professionals, was that the kindest thing to do for the dog would be to destroy it. This has been a difficult decision and one that we had hoped we wouldn’t have to make.”
Social media criticism has been quick and condemning, with animal advocates not understanding how a dog’s disposition could be judged in such a stressful situation.
(Photo of elderly German shepherd tied to polce and video via Cleveland Police and Joanne Twizell)
Rest in peace sweet dog. We are sorry that humans let you down.
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