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Stafford found burned to death
- RSPCA horrified by sickening discovery


The distinctive harness which RSPCA inspectors hope someone will recognise

THE RSPCA is appealing for information after the discovery of the body of a dog believed to have been tied to a tree and burnt alive.

The sickening discovery of the dead animal, attached to a tree and set alight by a Birmingham golf course, has stunned RSPCA Inspector Simon Davies and led to heartfelt appeals to the public for information.

Inspector Davies said: "I find it difficult to put my thoughts into words after removing the charred body of this dog. I simply can’t comprehend what could motivate someone to inflict such appalling pain and suffering to a living creature. I know the general public will find this incident as upsetting as I have and my hope is that the publication of photos of this horrendous scene will result in people coming forward with information."

A dog walker made the grim discovery on Wednesday February 15th on the edge of Handsworth Golf Course, Birmingham. The dog was found tied tightly to a tree by his lead on a patch of open land, off Silvercroft Avenue. The male Staffordshire bull terrier dog was wearing a nylon muzzle, a distinctive black leather harness with a brass pattern and a tan leather collar with brass studs.

The dog had a wound on the top of his head and beside him lay a large burnt can, similar in shape to a de-icer canister. The fire scorched a large area of ground surrounding the body.

Inspector Davies said: "It is my opinion that this dog was alive when he was deliberately set alight. He was tied to the tree so tightly that I had to use a knife to free him. Particularly upsetting is that I believe the dog was set on fire wearing a muzzle to prevent him from barking.

I also believe whoever carried out this heinous act knew the dog would be found at this spot as it’s often used by dog walkers. A more secluded spot could certainly have been found but this was not the intention of the person responsible."

Distinctive

He continued: "I would urge anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to please get in contact with me. If people know of someone who owned a Staffordshire bull terrier that has not been seen for a while or who recognise the distinctive harness I would appeal to them to get in contact. This case is too horrific to think about and the public are our only hope of finding out who could have committed such a crime."

*Anyone with information relating to this horrific incident can call the RSPCA Cruelty and Advice Line on 0870 55 55 999. Calls will be treated in confidence.