Yorkshire Terrier Stabbed to Death in Park

A dog is believed to have been stabbed to death in a "distressing" attack in a U.K. park.

The attack occurred in the city of Hull and is currently being investigated by Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Local news website Hull Live said that the incident occurred at Orchard Park. It said a woman was arrested after a Yorkshire terrier dog was stabbed to death at the park.

Pet owners have a duty of care to their animals in the U.K. and can face fines and jail time if found guilty of animal cruelty. Animal welfare penalties include potentially unlimited fines and a ban on keeping animals in the future. Those found guilty of animal cruelty can face up to five years in prison after new, tougher penalties were introduced by the government in June last year.

The RSPCA confirmed it was investigating the incident but declined to discuss further details. "The RSPCA received a report of a distressing incident involving a dog which was stabbed to death in Hull," a spokesperson said in a statement sent to Newsweek.

"We are now looking into this, however, we cannot discuss incidents about specific people and what action may have been taken. We understand how frustrating that is for animal lovers but releasing information could prejudice a future prosecution or could lead to us being fined.

"We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare."

There are an estimated 12 million pet dogs in the U.K., with 51 percent of adults believed to own at least one pet. 33 percent of UK households own at least one dog in the country. The Yorkshire terrier is a popular dog in the U.K., appearing in the top 20 most popular breeds of 2021.

The RSPCA said that in 2019 it investigated more than 93,350 cases of reported animal cruelty in the country. The charity said it had secured 1,435 private prosecutions over the course of that year in relation to its work preventing cruelty to animals.

A spokesperson for Humberside Police told Newsweek that the animal protection charity is leading the investigation into the reported stabbing of the dog: "This is not something we could provide any further comment on at this stage as the RSPCA has primacy and we would allow their investigation to be carried out."

Stock image of a Yorkshire terrier
Stock image of a Yorkshire terrier. The RSCPA charity are now investigating after a dog was reported stabbed to death at a park in Hull, UK. Roman Bjuty/Getty Images