Cat killings by dogs in Sunderland spark appeal
Cats have been mauled by dogs in a series of attacks in Sunderland, the RSPCA said.
The charity said it is aware of at least three cats which have been killed in the Pennywell and Fulwell areas in recent months.
It said the dogs' owners allegedly stood by and did nothing to intervene.
RSPCA inspector Jaqui Miller said the attacks were "horrific" and appealed for anyone who witnessed them to contact them.
The latest attack was on 30 October when a cat was killed in Portsmouth Road, Pennywell, by a lurcher-type dog.
On 19 October, a cat was badly injured by a lurcher-type dog in the Atkinson Road area of Fulwell and had to be put to sleep later.
The RSPCA said a witness reported the dog's owner was standing nearby and did not attempt to prevent the attack.
Ms Miller said she knew of at least one other incident in the past few months in Pennywell and said she had been told of up to eight other attacks in the area.
She said they could not rule out the possibility the attacks were linked.
"These attacks are absolutely horrific. It seems that the dog owners are allowing their animals to attack the cats and are then standing by and doing nothing to intervene," she said.
"People who are capable of these actions obviously have very little regard for the welfare of the cats or their own dogs."