Puppy was treated as a football
Heartbroken animal rescue worker Linda Mercer hugs this tiny puppy just before it had to be put to sleep after being kicked around by a group of youths.
A passer-by walking near Temple Park leisure centre, South Shields, rescued her when he saw her being thrown about.
The puppy was put down shortly after this picture was taken
He took the six to eight-week-old Labrador cross to St Francis Animal Rescue, in South Shields.
Vets found out she had suffered brain damage and been blinded and decided it was kindest to put her down.
The man took the puppy home where it kept falling over and would not eat and so on Monday he took her to St Francis Animal Rescue.
The puppy, who was called Maddy by animal rescue workers, was put on a drip and given injections but then started having fits every 10 minutes and vets advised the kindest thing would be to put her down.
Ms Mercer, who has worked with St Francis Animal Rescue for 15 years, said she had been devastated by the incident.
She said: "It was the most dreadful thing I have seen in all my rescue time, and I have seen some terrible things.
"This was a tiny baby that hadn't even had a life. It will stay with me for a long time.
"I want people to see what has been done. I would like to think someone will learn a lesson from this."
St Francis Animal Rescue was set up around 25 years ago and cares for and rehomes homeless animals and helps people in the community by offering a neutering service, to reduce the number of unwanted animals.
It is run by volunteers and relies on donations.
Northumbria Police said they were trying to find out what happened to the dog and were making inquiries in the park.
They are appealing for anyone with information and the puppy's owner to contact them. ************************
I'm even more sad and angry because a few weeks ago our next-door neighbour reported my mum to the RSPCA because she was sick of our dogs barking at the postman every day. Like... isn't that normal? Don't most dogs bark when somebody comes to the door? They bark for like 1 minute out of everyday and the stupid bint thinks that that constitutes animal abuse... either that or she wanted the dogs taken away from us cause she is so "precious" that she can't bare for her daily dose of crappy morning TV to be interrupted for a minute of each day. Anyway... maybe I should post this through her door so she can see what animal cruelty is... cause it sure as hell doesn't go on in my house!