The RSPCA are investigating a despicable case in which three young dogs might have been fed rat poison before being shut in a suitcase and lobbed in the sea, leaving them to a terrible drowning fate. The suitcase was thrown into the sea at the Port of Sunderland on 6th August.

Three puppies were trapped in this suitcase (inset) and thrown in the sea to drown off Sunderland (main)

Three puppies were trapped in this suitcase (inset) and thrown in the sea to drown off Sunderland (main)

The bodies of all three Staffordshire bull terriers showed evidence of a severe skin condition, thought to be demodectic mange and were all from the same litter, aged between four and five months. The dogs are described as a a white and tan male with black markings on his face, another male, a white and tan and a white and tan female.

Helen Bestwick, an Inspector with the RSPCA said: “These puppies have suffered a great deal. They had blue staining on their bodies and around their bottoms and there were signs of vomiting. We don’t know whether they were already dead when they went into the case, which was weighted down with two large stones.

“There were no scratch marks inside the case but it’s possible they were too ill to struggle, or unconscious. Vets believe one of them died before the others.

“I am appealing for anyone who knows who they belong to, or who saw anything that might help my investigation, to get in touch. It is likely the mum of these pups is also suffering from demodectic mange, and requires treatment.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.

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