TWO men have been jailed after trying to put down a dog which not only survived being hit by a car, but the horrendous injuries the pair inflicted upon it.

Andrew Painter and Kevin Varty appeared in court yesterday after the lurcher was found in Ferryhill, County Durham, on March 6.

It had a fractured neck and stab wounds from a potato peeler when the pair tried to “put it out of its misery”

after suffering a fractured hind leg in a road accident.

Police were alerted by a passer-by but were led to the two men when the dog’s apparent owner, Kieran Wynn, 18, stopped officers to ask if they had seen it.

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said but for Wynn, police and RSPCA officers would have had difficulty finding out what happened.

Mr Campbell said Wynn took ownership of the dog a few hours before it was hit by a taxi and had taken it to a friend because he could not afford a vet.

Wynn, who tried to make a splint for the animal with chopsticks, went to work, and his friend called Painter, who at first tried to help the animal.

Painter, who admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, then called Varty who he described as having experience with dogs.

Mr Campbell said Varty first tried to “choke the dog out” but when it showed signs of life Painter “stood on its head and pulled its legs up”.

Mr Campbell said Painter then attacked it with a potato peeler and took it outside, believing it was dead, only for it to regain consciousness and wander off later that night.

Ben Pegman, mitigating for Painter, of Church Close, Kirk Merrington, Spennymoor, said the 32-year-old believed, in drink, he was acting out of compassion and regretted his actions.

Terry Hamer, mitigating for Varty, of High Street, Ferryhill, who admitted one count of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal, said the 43-year-old also acted out of compassion but “lacked the skill to dispatch with the animal” and was deeply remorseful.

The court heard the dog needed to have a leg amputated but has since recovered and been re-homed.

Varty and Painter were both given 18 weeks in custody and lifetime bans from keeping animals. Wynn, of Rydal Road, Ferryhill, was given conditional bail and will be sentenced on August 22.