Tyne & Wear

Hedgehog dies after being 'kicked like a football' in Sunderland

Image caption Police said they received reports three teenagers had attacked the animal (stock picture)

Two boys have been arrested after a hedgehog was kicked to death "like a football".

Police said they received reports a "trio of teenagers" had attacked the animal on Hayton Close in Sunderland on Tuesday evening.

One resident said she saw one of them kicking the hedgehog "like a football" outside her home.

Two boys aged 10 and 14 have been arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Northumbria Police said the boys had been released under investigation and a probe was under way to identify those responsible.

The resident, who does not want to be identified, said: "I went outside, scooped the hedgehog up and brought him in the house and nursed him throughout the night.

"His cry will haunt me forever."

The woman took the hedgehog to a vet the following day but it had to be put down.

An RSPCA spokesperson said police were leading the investigation but they were "available to assist them if needed".

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