AN investigation has been launched after four ducks were found dead when they were savaged by a dog.

The dead and injured animals were in a park on Cowyn Road, Hartlepool on Saturday. Three injured ducks were taken to a local vets but two of these died. One duck remains under vet care.

RSPCA inspector Krissy Raine said: “This was a heartbreaking job. These ducks suffered terrible injuries. We’ve been told that a man encouraged his dog to attack them.

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“The incident was witnessed by numerous children and shockingly, we’ve been told that the man had a child with him at the time.

“People are very upset and we’re appealing for anyone who knows who he is to get in touch.”

The man is described as in his early 30s, slim, wearing blue jeans, a black jacket, black Nike trainers and a black cap with a grey peak. He had a little girl with him who was around three years old with curly brown hair. The dog is described as a medium size sandy coloured Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

It’s unclear what the White Aylesbury ducks were doing at the location as they are not wild ducks, and had their wings clipped.

The inspector added: "Because their wings had been clipped these poor ducks had no chance to get away."

Anyone with any information is asked to call 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for RSPCA inspector Raine.