Exhausted dog dragged behind van as it is forced to do circuits of industrial estate
RSPCA launches cruelty investigation after lurcher pictured struggling to keep up with vehicle doing laps of business park while occupants laughed
An animal welfare investigation has been launched after a dog was pictured being dragged behind a van as it was driven in circuits around an industrial estate.
The tan-coloured lurcher appeared to be struggling to keep up with the vehicle during what the RSPCA described as an "awful ordeal" in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
A member of the public took photos of the incident, on Tuesday evening, in which the dog was on a lead held by a man in a fluorescent jacket sitting in the back of the van with a door open.
he man who witnessed the scene and later reported it described hearing laughter from the vehicle's occupants as it was driven in laps around the Fenton Industrial Estate at least three times.
The RSPCA said the incident, which happened in Spedding Road at about 6.30pm, was "appalling" and was likely to have left the dog's feet "a painful mess".
Animal welfare officers have now launched a public appeal for information to trace those involved.
Inspector Charlotte Melvin said: "The caller told us he had seen the van circling the industrial estate three times with a dog being dragged behind, and that the people inside the vehicle were laughing.
"These roads are tarmac surfaces and I'd imagine the dog's feet would have been a painful mess after this awful ordeal.
"The back doors of the van were open and someone was sat in the back with the dog on a lead running behind. The dog looked exhausted."
Insp Melvin added: "I'd appeal to anyone who lives or works nearby to keep their eyes peeled and, if they see a similar incident, or if they know who may have been responsible, to call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
"This is an appalling incident and I'd be interested to hear from anyone who might recognise the dog, the people or the van."