Two dogs died after being shot with an airgun and left in the street in County Durham.
The male and female lurchers were found on Roseberry Terrace and Cheapside in Shildon on Sunday and x-rays showed they had pellets lodged in their lungs.
The RSPCA said their deaths would have been painful and are investigating the incident with police.
Inspector Krissy Raine told the Northern Echo the animals are related and aged up to two-years-old.
She said: "Obviously, these dogs have had a horrible, painful death in freezing cold conditions.
"They died on the street and I think someone knows who it was and who is responsible for what's happened to them.
"It's just such an awful thing to do - someone has obviously been horrible enough to do that so God knows what they are capable of."