THREE children, one as young as five, laughed and cheered as they kicked a puppy to death in a rural housing estate.
A horrified neighbour witnessed the shocking roadside scene in the Long Lane in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
And an animal welfare group last night criticised the gardai after they failed to investigate the incident.
The man, who identified himself as 'Paul', said yesterday he could not believe what he was seeing as he drove into the estate on Thursday evening.
"I could see a group of very small children kicking something that wasn't a football.
"As I approached them I could see it was a small pup. They were kicking and jumping on its head," he told a Highland Radio show yesterday.
When the shocked motorist returned minutes after parking his car, the puppy was dead and the children were laughing and joking as they left the scene.
He said the youngest was around five years old and the oldest was about 11 years old.
"They were almost thrilled to bits that they had kicked this pup to death and stamped on its head," Paul said.
"They were laughing and slapping each other on the back.
"The dog's head was crushed and there was quite a pool of blood. It turned my stomach, doing that to an animal at that age. What are they going to be like when they are older?"
But when Paul called to the garda station with a picture to report what he had witnessed, he was not even asked to file a complaint.
"I showed the picture to the guard but he looked at me with a look of 'what do you want me to do?' I wasn't even asked my name," he said.
Donegal Pet Rescue spokesman Sean McClafferty has called for an urgent meeting with the superintendent at Letterkenny Garda Station to discuss the matter.
"The guard at the desk is duty bound to take all the details of the crime because this is a crime.
"It is extremely disturbing that children would do that but we are living in an age where cruelty to animals doesn't seem to matter," he said.