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Set alight, fed drugs and left with a broken neck - one of the worst cases of animal cruelty the RSPCA has ever seen

Chunky after his ordeal at the hands of a teenage gang Credit: RSPCA

Four teenagers have been disqualified from keeping animals after torturing a stolen dog in a case the RSPCA described as one of the worst they have ever seen.

Three of the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, admitted kicking and punching the chihuahua cross, named Chunky, before breaking his leg and neck.

They then set him on fire, fed him drugs and dumped him in a rubbish tip in Margate.

Despite his ordeal the dog survived and has now been returned to his owner.

The age of the teenagers means that they cannot be identified.

Chunky has now recovered to full health Credit: RSPCA

This was the most disturbing case I have ever dealt with - by an absolute mile.

The whole thing sends shivers down my spine. The defendants may have been young and confessed to being under the influence of drugs but the cruelty they inflicted on this poor dog was extreme, barbaric and inexcusable.

I will never forget how terrified and depressed he was when I first saw him. The injuries were so severe that despite the fantastic veterinary care and medication he was on, the medication was unable to numb all of the pain, and he suffered for at least six days according to veterinary experts.

– RSPCA inspector Caroline Doe

Three teenagers pleaded guilty in October to cruelly ill-treating the animal in a way which they knew would cause him to suffer unnecessarily, and were all disqualified from keeping all animals for five years, given a referral order for 12 months and ordered to pay costs. One of the youths was made to pay £1,000 and the other two £500.

A fourth youth, aged 16 at the time of the offence, pleaded guilty to the same offences under the Animal Welfare Act, at a trial at Folkestone Youth Court

He was also disqualified from keeping animals for five years and given a referral order for twelve months, plus his father was made to pay costs of £5,800.

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