A straying dog has died in a suspected poisoning as the bodies of two more dogs were found nearby.

An RSPCA investigation is set to be launched after the deceased canines were discovered, including one which had been buried.

Dog wardens confirmed they were called to an area near Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough on Friday (April 12) to reports of a stray dog.

An unwell Cane Corso/crossbreed was found and taken into kennels but died despite the efforts of vets on Saturday evening.

Vets believe the dog, who was not microchipped, may have been poisoned.

The body of a second dog was found nearby, along with that of a third dog which had been buried in the vicinity.

Middlesbrough’s dog wardens are appealing for anyone with information or who recognises the pictured Cane Corso dog to contact them, in what they’ve described as a “terrible case”.

They said: “Not far from where we collected him we discovered another deceased dog and a further dog that had been buried.

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“At this stage, initial thoughts from the vet are that the Cane Corso may have been poisoned

“We are meeting the RSPCA inspector on Monday and they will be investigating this matter. This is a terrible case and something very difficult for our officers to deal with.”

Anyone with information can contact evidence@middlesbrough.gov.uk or call 01642 726001.