A 16-week-old puppy has died after allegedly being brutally beaten by a pair of youths in a Nottinghamshire village.
The tiny animal was brought into the Co-op supermarket in Ordsall, near Retford, with severe injuries on Friday evening.
Joanna Tufts, who was shopping at the time, claimed two children who brought the animal into the store had earlier been seen kicking it by passers-by.
Ms Tufts, who named the animal “Asher” meaning “fortunate”, rushed it to an emergency vet who was unable to save its life.
“I was in the shop, and the puppy was carried in by two kids who were asking for help,” she told Yahoo News.
“You could tell he was in a really bad state. You could tell that even before he was injured that he hadn’t been looked after properly.
“So me, some other people and the staff from the store all banded together and managed to get hold of the emergency vet.
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“I rushed the puppy down and he started to receive treatment. We don’t even now know the full extent of his injuries.
“He never got strong enough to do any tests or X-rays.”
Vets believe the puppy may have sustained a fractured jaw, potential brain damage and the loss of sight in one eye in the brutal attack.
Ms Tufts said there was no CCTV footage available at the Co-op store which showed the attack, but the police and RSPCA are now investigating.
“We’re still trying to get people to come forward but we don’t know the exact details” she added.
“I have worked with dogs and in kennels and seen them being brought in skinny and filthy and they’re absolutely petrified.
“But to see one that has been brutally beaten and looks on the edge of death is really heartbreaking.
“I think this happens a lot more than people realise it does. But the fact that people think that this sort of treatment of any animal, let alone a tiny puppy, is acceptable is awful.
“Something needs to be done to make kids understand how to correctly treat animals so that stuff like this doesn’t happen.”
Asher was thought to be a Springer Spaniel-Jack Russell cross-breed and vets estimated he was no more than 16 weeks old.
In the wake of the incident, a GoFundMe page was set up to pay for his vet’s bills which more than tripled its £1,000 target.