County Durham dog owner devastated as beloved pet dies after being ‘set on fire’

A dog owner from County Durham has been left “devastated” following the death of her beloved pet who was “set on fire”.

Angela Clennell has been left heartbroken after her eight-year-old cocker spaniel Lucky passed away on Friday after suffering from extensive burns. The 56-year-old said Lucky was taken from their garden in Ripley Close, Ouston along with a second dog called Sandy at about 10pm on Wednesday.

While Sandy escaped, Angela said Lucky was “doused with petrol” before being “set alight”. She was later found injured in the Deneside area of ​​Lanchester and was rushed to Dunelm Vets in Gilesgate before she was transferred to Wear Referrals Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Hospital.

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Angela said she was told Lucky burns on more than 50 percent of her body and that she would not survive treatment. Tragically, Lucky had to be put to sleep due to the extent of her injuries as the vet said keeping her alive will only prolong her suffering.

Officers are investigating the incident and said it was a “targeted dispute as a result of an ongoing ongoing”. Angela said: “Lucky was a working dog so she was in the kennel outside. Sandy ran off but they doused Lucky in petrol and set her alight.

Angela Clennell has been left heartbroken after her eight-year-old cocker spaniel Lucky passed away on Friday

“She was found by a girl walking her dog but she couldn’t catch her, her skin was smoldering and she was running around. The fire service managed to get her and the police, who had been at my property, took her to the vet.

“Every injuries were absolutely horrific, she was unrecognisable. She had burns to over 50 percent of her body. She was receiving treatment at the vets and we took her to the animal hospital yesterday afternoon. Her skin was going hard because burns get worse the more the day goes on.

“The hospital examined her and they said due to the extent of her injuries she would have to be put to sleep. They said if she was a human they could put her in a coma and do a skin graft but they can’t do that with a dog. They said she probably wouldn’t survive and that keeping her alive would just prolong her suffering. I just broke down, it absolutely broke me.”

Angela said Lucky’s death has “devastated her” and said she was just “an innocent dog”. She said: “She was an innocent dog that has done nothing to anybody, she was such a loving dog. She was really placid, she was a really happy dog, who was always wagging her tail and now she’s gone.

“The vet said it was the worst case he had seen and he’s a specialist on skin burns. It has just absolutely devastated me and I’m so angry. It’s just horrific.”

Following the incident, a Go Fund Me page was set up and within just days more than £8,600 was raised in a bid to help Angela who is currently awaiting a heart transplant. She said: “Everybody was absolutely horrified. I think if you don’t feel devastated about what happened then you don’t have a heart. I just can’t get my head around what has happened and why anyone would do this but the support from everyone has been amazing.”

Angela’s friend Tish Wilkinson has since offered a £10,000 reward for any information that leads to a prosecution. If you would like to donate to the Go Fund Me page, you can do so here.

Consett Police said on Wednesday that a man had been arrested after a dog was seriously injured when it was stolen from a garden in Ouston. Durham Constabulary confirmed on Friday that the man has been bailed and a second man is currently assisting the police with their inquiries.

Detective Inspector Daniel Peacock said: “We are satisfied this is a targeted attack as a result of an ongoing dispute. We are confident there is no wider threat to other dogs in our community and it is not linked to the theft of dogs for purposes of breeding or sale.

“Our investigation into this horrific incident is ongoing and we would appreciate anyone who may have seen something to come forward and speak to us. We understand how impactive incidents like this are and are asking for information from our communities to assist the investigation and bring the offenders to justice.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident reference 467 of July 27 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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