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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Teens locked up by Cumbrian court after dogs filmed tearing cat apart

Sick yobs filmed a cat being torn apart by a pair of dogs in a savage and sustained attack.

Animal charity the RSPCA said it was an "horrific and premeditated offence" that would shock the public - and warned similar attacks were on the rise.

Two teenagers were today locked up after being convicted of encouraging the dogs to rip apart the frightened feline.

Jamie Atkinson, 19, of Minster Close, Workington, was sent to a young offenders institute for 56 days and Daniel Porter, 18, of Eskdale Avenue, also Workington, was sent to a young offenders institute for 70 days.

Both were also disqualified from having animals for five years.

The offence came to light after the RSPCA became aware of a video showing the cat being attacked. Voices on the video could be heard shouting at the dogs and calling them by their names.

Six people were arrested during a subsequent investigation with the police - Atkinson and Porter and four under 16s.

Charges were brought against Atkinson and Porter for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. The others were released with no further action.

West Allerdale magistrates watched the sickening video - which the News & Star has seen but feels is too distressing to show - and heard a vet's report that the cat would have suffered immensely before being thrown into bushes while still alive.

The court was told Atkinson had taken the cat to waste land near Workington railway station where two dogs were let off their leads to attack it.

PC Sean Prince said the cat had no chance to escape as the dogs - which suffered injuries to their heads as the cat tried to escape - pulled it like a rag doll.

RSPCA Inspector Martyn Fletcher said after the hearing that incidents such as this were happening more and more across Cumbria, mostly involving young men with lurcher type dogs.

"Our advice to cat owners is to keep their pets indoors at night as, though not the case here, this is generally when these types of offences happen.

"We'd like to take this opportunity to appeal to the public - we want to hear from anyone with any information about those involved and where we have the evidence we won't hesitate to bring these people before a court."

Anyone with any information about similar incidents or who has any concerns about animal cruelty should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or Cumbria police on 101.

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