WARNING - PHOTOGRAPH IN ARTICLE MAY CAUSE DISTRESS: The body of a dog that was ‘savagely beaten’ to death and dumped in the canal basin at the visitor centre of the Falkirk Wheel was found this week.
The black and white terrier-type male was fished out of the water by animal welfare officers from the Scottish SPCA after British Waterway patrol staff made the horrific discovery on Monday.
Officers believe the dog had been attacked by a hammer or forceful kicks and that his suffering was “prolonged”.
A post-mortem revealed it had a severely fractured skull, multiple broken ribs and was badly bruised. The cause of death was found to be from head trauma.
SSPCA Inspector Leanne McPake said: “He had his ribs broken with such force there was blood in his lung cavity. We believe the dog’s injuries were inflicted with an instrument such as a hammer or a forceful kick.
“We know the dog was alive for several minutes after being struck, meaning his suffering was prolonged. His dead body was then callously dumped in the water.”
The animal welfare charity called the attack “barbaric” and is appealing for anyone with information regarding the crime to contact them as a matter of urgency.
“CCTV in the area is currently being reviewed. In the meantime we would appeal to anyone who knows of someone who owned a dog matching the description or has any other information to contact us.
“The dog was a small, un-neutered black and white male terrier type. He was wearing a very thin leather collar and it is thought he was a young adult. We believe this barbaric attack happened within the last seven to 10 days.
“We are very keen to find whoever is responsible for carrying out this horrifically cruel and brutal attack on a defenceless dog.”
Causing unnecessary suffering to an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Anyone found guilty can be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.