The police are looking for thugs who put fireworks on the head of a hedgehog and inflamed it, causing the harmless animal to be euthanized by veterinarians.
The South Ribble Police said the incident in the village of Longton, four miles south of Preston, caused the fireworks to be attached to the hedgehog's head and set off.
"It is very sad to say that the hedgehog had to be crushed due to the magnitude of the injuries due to this incident.
"We ask anyone who has received information about the incident to contact us and the incident occurred in Pendlebury Close in Longton."
The police called on anyone with information to contact the police, stating protocol 1702 dated 8 November, or to report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
One woman wrote: "Many passionate posts here – I would like to make a donation to Preston Hedgehog Rescue – it would be fantastic if people felt so strong for the poor little pig that they want to help all the other pigs get the fantastic care of Preston Hedgehog Rescue ,
"We can not save the poor pig, but we can try to save everyone else."
Another poster said, "This is disgusting, an action with a very disturbed mind, abnormal behavior, inflicting such pain on a living animal, someone knows who did this, does the right thing, and calls the culprit now!"
On his Facebook page, Preston told Hedgehog Rescue that it had been flooded with hedgehog maintenance requests and that it was working on it.
It has set up a donation page "Helping Hedgehogs (Preston and Environment)".
And a Facebook user called for a ban on the public sale of firecrackers and asked, "How can you do that to a cute little hedgehog?"
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