Durham officers save five-day-old cocker spaniel puppies being 'swung in carrier bag' on roadside

Six Cocker Spaniel puppies who were tied up in a carrier bag were rescued by Durham police officers. Credit: Durham Constabulary.

Six five-day old cocker spaniel puppies who were tied up in a carrier bag were just moments from death when they were rescued.

They were spotted by Durham Police officers Liam Vernon and Luke Howie, who were travelling on the A689 near Bishop Auckland on Saturday 18 March when they saw a man swinging a sealed carrier bag on the edge of bank.

They stopped and saw the man throw the carrier bag onto the front seat before starting to inspect his tyre as the pair got out of the police car.

As the officers approached the vehicle, they could hear squealing coming from the passenger’s side.

When they moved closer, they realised it was the same bag the man had been swinging just moments before.

The officers untied the sealed bag and found the five-day-old puppies, which were so young they had not opened their eyes yet.

Body cam footage of the bag that the puppies were found in. Credit: Durham Constabulary

The driver was questioned at the roadside while officers monitored the puppies and arranged for them to be taken to a local vet for treatment, where they are making a recovery.

The man, in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, money laundering and trafficking in a controlled drug and taken into custody.

He has since been released on bail while inquiries continue.

As part of the investigation, officers searched the man’s address and rescued the puppies' mother and father too.

They have since been reunited with the litter and are also receiving treatment.

PC Vernon from Durham Constabulary said: “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 which has really stuck with us, we’ve hardly stopped thinking about it but are just glad to have saved them – it really was right place, right time.”

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