Rabbits killed in despicable 'spade' attack in Newark

The RSPCA is appealing for information after four rabbits were apparently bludgeoned to death with a spade in a "despicable" attack.

Four female rabbits were taken from their hutch in a garden in Churchill Drive in Newark, Nottinghamshire, some time after 23:00 BST on Tuesday.

The animals were hit with a spade, leaving the owners "distraught", the RSPCA said.

The RSPCA said it appeared the attack was "a despicable act of cruelty".

The spade is to be sent off for forensic examination and the RSPCA is working with police.

A police spokesman said pet owners around Newark should pay particular attention to the security of their animals.

RSPCA animal welfare officer Kate Burris said: "This was a senseless and gruesome crime. We have no idea why someone would want to kill four innocent animals in such a horrific way.

"We would urge anyone who was in the area of Churchill Drive, Newark, at the time of the suspected incident to get in touch if they saw anyone acting suspiciously."

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