- Sunderland, England -
Two unidentified juveniles aged 11 and 14, pleaded guilty to five wildlife offences on Thursday, November 7, in South Tyneside Magistrate’s Court.
The two young criminals kicked a defenseless hedgehog to death on September 10, on Heyton Close.
The poor animal was known as ‘Little Man’ by neighbors.
A local resident witnessed the whole thing and rushed out of her home.
She took the mammal to King’s Road Vets the following morning.
A vet found Little Man to be suffering from severe respiratory distress.
The only option was to put him down.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society had offered a £1,000 reward to identify those responsible for the cruel and senseless act.
When the culprits were found, as part of the investigation, the teenagers’ cell phones were examined.
Investigators found a shocking video in which these criminals in the making could be seen encouraging a dog to fatally injure pigeon chicks and a rabbit.
The young offenders now have criminal records that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
They were referred to the youth offending team and one of the sentencing options is re-education through volunteering at a wildlife charity.
Unfortunately, due to their age the punishment could not be harsher, but they are still alive, and the poor animal is not!
BBC reports that the reward money will be spent on hibernation pods and education packs for local schools.
* My personal opinion is that starting from elementary schools, there should be a subject called ‘Animal Welfare.’ Children must learn from a young age the importance of all kinds of lives, respect for what surrounds us, especially if these values are not instilled by the families they are raised by!!!*