A dog was left severely injured when it was allegedly 'doused in petrol and set alight' after being stolen from a garden in County Durham.

The horrific incident is being investigated by Durham Police and a man has been arrested in connection with it.

The animal was taken from a garden in Ripley Close, Ouston, near Chester-le-Street at about 10pm last night (Wednesday, July 27).

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Lucky the spaniel was later found injured in the Deneside area of Lanchester and is being treated for injuries.

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Detective Inspector Daniel Peacock said: “We are satisfied this is a targeted attack as a result of an ongoing dispute.

“We are confident there is no wider threat to other dogs in our community and it is not linked to theft of dogs for purposes of breeding or sale.

“Our investigation into this horrific incident is ongoing and we would appreciate anyone who may have seen something to come forward and speak to us.

“We understand how impactive incidents like this are and are asking for information from our communities to assist the investigation and bring the offenders to justice.”

A Go Fund Me page was set up earlier this evening to assist the owner with vet fees. 

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She alleges that Lucky had been doused in petrol and set alight, and described the situation as "touch and go". She said she did not have pet insurance due to the high cost.

She added: "Please donate what you can and help me give my precious girl a fighting chance."

It had already attracted more than £1,000 in donations in less than two hours. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call Durham Police on 101, quoting incident reference 467 of July 27 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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