Police are appealing for witnesses after a gang of teenagers set a dog on a cat in Crawley.
Sussex Police said the three boys began playing with the ginger cat in Arne Close, Bewbush, before picking it up and waving it in front of their dog at about 7.30pm on Monday May 12.
The dog, which appeared to be a white Staffordshire bull terrier with tanned patches on its body and was off its lead, was repeatedly encouraged to attack the cat, which the boys were holding.
The boys ran off when a neighbour saw what they were doing. As they fled they threw the cat over a fence.
The cat is being treated by a nearby vet for its injuries.
PC Gillian Sadler said: “This was a very nasty attack on the cat and has left both the animal and its owner traumatised.
“It is difficult to understand why anyone could behave with such cruelty to a pet.
“I want to speak to anyone who saw or heard the attack on the cat.
“There may be other people who saw the boys messing around with the cat before they set the dog on it or someone who recognises their descriptions.
“If you know anything at all please contact us.”
The first boy was white and 14 or 15. He had light blonde hair that was shaved at both sides and did not have a top on.
The second boy was also white and 14 or 15. He had dark brown hair and was wearing a dark coloured tracksuit with his hood up.
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 1334 of 12/5, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.