Published: 07:58, 04 March 2015
Police are appealing for calm after concerns were raised that a dog found with horrific injuries had been tortured by a group of youths.
Rumours circulating on social media suggested that the animal found dumped with a broken leg and bad eye had been "set alight and beaten".
He was picked up close to the tip in Manston Road, Margate by a Thanet District Council dog warden on Monday.
He was then taken to the RSPCA branch in Birchington, where he was named Stig by his carers.
Police have since received reports of animal cruelty against the dog, but officers have appealed for people to "remain calm and avoid passing judgement" while they investigate.
A spokesman said: "Kent Police is currently investigating after receiving an allegation of animal cruelty in Manston.
"Police received a report at around 7pm on Monday which referenced an allegation made on social media of animal cruelty against a dog.
"Officers have spoken directly to a number of those named in the allegation. At this stage no arrests have been made and we are working with the RSPCA. Enquiries are on-going to establish the facts."
"I would urge people to remain calm and avoid passing judgement..." - Inspector Louise Murphy
Inspector Louise Murphy added: "We appreciate that the nature of allegations are emotive, but would also like to stress they are just allegations at this stage and we are working towards finding out exactly what has happened.
"If a dog owner in Manston is missing their pet, I would ask them to come forward. We have yet to find the owner and this information will form a crucial part of the investigation, so if anyone can help with our enquiries, please come forward.
"Rest assured if a crime has been committed we will conduct a full and thorough investigation. I would urge people to remain calm and avoid passing judgement."
A message on the RSPCA Isle of Thanet branch Facebook page said: "[Stig's] hind right leg is very badly broken, but the good news is that it can be fixed and won't need to come off, as we first feared.
"He will have pins and plates but four working legs. Worst case scenario will be a pronounced limp and setting off alarms at airports. We may have to restrict his international travelling!
"We are also conducting tests to establish the cause of his eye problems and how best to treat them."
The message continues: "When he leaves the vets he will be going home with the manager of the animal centre until he is fully recovered and ready to move on. Stig now has a secure future."
RSPCA spokesman Katya Mira said: "Stig will continue to receive our care and we are appealing for information about how he came to be dumped like is.
"Anyone who has any information should call us on 0300 123 8018."
The Thanet branch will be covering all of the costs of Stig's treatment on top of £150 pledged by the dog warden service.
Anyone wishing to make a donation towards his veterinary bills should make contact with the branch on 01843 826180 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to help.
Thanet Animal Hospital in College Road, Margate, took care of Stig after he was first discovered.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference 02*1278.
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