Durham police officers have saved six five-day-old cocker spaniel puppies who were wrapped in a carrier bag and only moments away from death. The officers, Liam Vernon and Luke Howie, grew suspicious of a parked car along the A689 and spun their police car around to check on the driver. They saw a man swinging a sealed bag on the edge of a grassy bank near Bishop Auckland. When they switched on the siren, the driver threw the bag into his car and allegedly pretended to inspect one of his car tyres. But the police heard squealing coming from inside the man’s car and found the same bag he’d been swinging only moments before tossed on the front seat. The police discovered six cocker spaniel puppies inside the bag, and they were so young that they hadn't opened their eyes yet.
The man was going to lob the puppies over the grassy ledge, according to police. The driver was questioned at the roadside as officers looked after the pups and arranged for them to be taken to a local vet for treatment. The man was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, money laundering, and trafficking in a controlled drug. He has since been released on bail amid a police investigation.
The puppies were riddled with fleas and had their parents not been rescued from the driver’s home, they would not have survived for long. Both parents and their litter are now receiving treatment and are expected to make a recovery. The police believe the man was going to dump the puppies over the grassy ledge. However, the puppies were saved thanks to the cries being heard by the two officers. The police officers searched the man’s home and rescued the puppies’ parents, who have since been reunited with their babies.
PC Vernon, one of the officers, stated, "The puppies were riddled with fleas and if we’d have passed just seconds before, we would have been none the wiser. Both myself and Luke are huge dog lovers, so it has been one of those jobs that has really stuck with us. We’ve hardly stopped thinking about it but are just glad to have saved them – it really was the right place, right time."
The incident highlights the importance of adopting a responsible attitude towards animal care. People who witness any suspicious behavior should report it to the relevant authorities. Such actions and cases of animal cruelty are becoming more common, and it is essential to raise awareness and ensure the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.