These graphic photos show the horrific facial injuries a terrier dog suffered after being forced to fight with a badger by its cruel owners.
The Patterdale Terrier was rushed to vets by police officers for treatment to the right side of its face, which had been cut and scarred during the badger baiting incident.
The shocking photos show the wounds to his skin around the two-year-old pup’s eye, which police said were “clearly” caused from it being forced down a badger sett to fight.
He was left with puncture wounds, which were cleaned out by vets who administered anti-biotics and pain medication.
Officers have branded the act “cruel and barbaric” and said the dog’s owners left him behind when they fled the scene as police arrived.
The two men were seen digging at an active badger set in an open field in Chinley, Derbyshire, by the landowner who challenged them twice.
Police were called and the men left in a Silver/Grey large 4×4 Crew cab Type vehicle with a grey rear load bed canopy on Sunday, September 15.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “We are investigating a Badger Baiting incident that happened in Chinley, Derbyshire, on the morning of Sunday, September 15.
“Two males were seen to be digging at an active badger sett in an open field. When challenged they made off.
“The two males returned a short time later and were challenged again by the landowner but again made off.
“The males were seen to leave the area in a Silver/Grey large 4×4 Crew cab Type vehicle with a grey rear load bed canopy.
“They left behind a small brown Patterdale terrier type dog with substantial facial injuries which were clearly caused from it being put into the badger sett to fight with the badger as the males dug down to them.
“The dog was taken straight to the vets by police for its horrendous injuries to be looked at.
“This is a cruel and barbaric act by the owners of the dog, both against the dog and the badgers in the name of pleasure.”
Badger-baiting is a an illegal blood sport that sees a badger drawn out of its sett and threatened, prompting a reaction.
Dogs and badgers are then pitted against each other, often resulting in the death of the badger and serious injury to the dog.
It was outlawed in the UK in 1835 under the Cruelty to Animals Act
Police have urged anyone with information – or who knows someone who had a similar dog but not longer has it – to call them on 101, quoting reference 190492943.
The pup is recuperating from his injuries in police kennels.