A young mum says she has been left traumatised after finding her dog stabbed to death in her home.
Sophie Davison, 21, returned to her house in Sunderland late on Saturday afternoon to discover her 11-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Pippin was lying in a pool of his own blood.
Pippin had been left at home with her other elderly dog Tia, a 13-year-old Boxer-Mastiff cross, between the hours of noon and 5pm, while Sophie visited her grandmother in hospital.
After discovering her beloved pet was cold and stiff Sophie called the police and puncture wounds were then found to the dogs throat and side of neck.
Sophie, who is mum to seven-month-old Jensen, said: Its been horrific, I opened the front door and Tia came skating across the floor to me, shes old and has skin cancer, so this is not something she does.
Then I found poor Pippin, he was surrounded by blood and when I touched him he was cold and stiff.
Police said Pippins injuries were consistent with those of a stabbing and have launched an investigation.
Sophie added: Ive been told its classed as an aggravated burglary but nothing was stolen from my house.
Theres no signs of a break-in either, so to think someone may have just let themselves in is terrifying.
Ive only lived here for a few months, I dont know anyone but Im too scared to stay here now.
Sophie said police had retrieved a possible weapon from the back lane.
She said: I am just hoping that sheds some light on who may have done this, I need to know.
I dont understand how anyone can do such a horrific thing to an elderly dog who didnt have a bad bone in his body.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: At around 7.45pm, Saturday, December 29, police received a report of a deceased dog at an address on Wilfred Street, Sunderland.
Officers attended the scene and discovered a dog that had sustained fatal injuries consistent with those of a stabbing.
The homeowner was not home during the incident and it is believed that nothing was taken from the address.
An investigation is underway and attempts are ongoing to locate those responsible.
Officers are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch via 101 and to quote reference number 896 29/12/18.