A leading Police Scotland officer has called the brutal killing of a dog “sickening and horrendous” after it was found burned to death in a wooded area in Kirkcaldy.
The disturbing scene was discovered in Dunniker Woods, in the north of the town, close to a children’s play area on Friday afternoon by a passer-by who alerted the police.
The dog, which was believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier cross, was tied to a tree by a lead before being doused with a flammable liquid and then set on fire.
PC Ian Laing, wildlife crime liaison officer for the Fife division of Police Scotland, said: “It is clear that this dog died in horrendous circumstances. It would have endured considerable pain immediately prior to its death.
“It is essential that the public assist us in identifying who is responsible for this attack.”
The post mortem examination carried out earlier this week, found evidence that the dog was still alive when it was set on fire.
However, there is nothing to suggest that the dog was tortured before it died and further tests are still in the process of being carried out.
The police have had an “incredible response from members of the public and are following a positive line of enquiry” regarding the dog’s owner, but still need help to establish what happened and to find those responsible.
PC Laing said: “Anyone who is familiar with someone who had a dog such as this but perhaps has not seen it for a few days, or who saw someone in the north Kirkcaldy area with a dog and carrying a green petrol container is asked to contact us as soon as possible.
“We also want to hear from people who may have seen anyone, or knows of anyone, buying petrol who does not own a car.
“Anyone who heard anything in the woods on Friday afternoon is asked to contact the police as soon as possible.”
“I would also urge those responsible to please come forward.”
“I have little doubt that most people will be horrified at what has taken place and anticipate a strong response from the public.”
Local people have shared their disgust and horror across social media after hearing of the attack with many offering rewards.
One local resident contacted The Press offering £100 reward for information that would lead to a conviction of those responsible.
“She said: I was so angry and upset by the cruelty shown to this poor dog that I am offering the reward. I hope that others will join me in showing their disgust.”
Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, said: “This is an extremely sickening case of animal cruelty and we are keen to find those responsible for this dog’s painful and violent death.
“This poor dog appears to have been killed in one of the most barbaric ways possible.
“We will work closely alongside the police to ensure that those involved are caught.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Police Scotland on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.