A dog filmed being dragged along the ground by its owner after allegedly being shot for giving birth to puppies has died.
A horrified onlooker videoed a Spanish hunter mistreating the animal on Saturday.
It was rescued seriously injured, but on Tuesday it was confirmed it had died at the animal clinic in Lugo, Galicia, where vets were trying to save its life.
The unidentified owner, a man said to be aged around 60, could face a prison sentence of nearly two years and a fine of more than £25,000.
Animal welfare groups and a local vets association have already pledged to take legal action against him.
A hunter was filmed dragging a new mother dog – which had just given birth to six puppies – along the ground by a rope after reportedly shooting her
An online petition titled Justice for Alma, the name of the tragic dog, has already been signed by thousands of people calling for ‘the full weight of the law to fall on this lunatic.’
The petition says: ‘Alma is a dog who has young pups and is fighting for her life after her owner gave her a beating and shot her twice causing her serious injuries.
‘When he saw he hadn’t killed her he dragged her along the ground to finish off the killing at home.
‘Thanks to someone who was passing through, footage was taken and this miscreant was reported to police.
‘Today we are asking for everyone’s cooperation so this crime doesn’t go unpunished and the full weight of the law falls on this madman.’
The unnamed dog owner can be overheard arguing with the man filming him dragging the agonising animal along the ground
Asturias, northern Spain-based animal welfare group Mundo Vivo, which published a photo of the dog and the footage of the incident on Saturday in the municipality of Chantada near Lugo before confirmation it had died, said: ‘This happened in Chantada, Lugo.
‘After shooting it and breaking its humeri but not killing it, it was beaten around the head and dragged home so its owner could finish the job.
‘Its crime was to give birth. The mother is in a serious condition in a hospital in Lugo and the puppies are being cared for by the local vet.
‘Mundo Vivo will take legal action. Please share this video so that when this case reaches trial, the judges will be implacable with this scum of the earth.’
A spokesman added alongside photos of the dog’s pups, which are just three weeks old and are said to be in good health: ‘These are the babies of the dog that is fighting for its life, the animal that was shot, beaten and dragged along the ground by a hunter in Chantada, Lugo.
‘We hope this scum receives the justice he deserves. We need exemplary sentences for these monsters.’
Laura Duarte, President of Spanish animal rights’ party PACMA, said: ‘The revulsion and rage these images make me feel is indescribable.
‘In this county this savagery is not always punished by way of a prison sentence.
‘We are fighting against that. In the next few hours we will be informing you about the action we intend taking.’
The unnamed dog owner can be overheard arguing with the man filming him dragging the agonising animal along the ground.
He tells him he’s taking it home as he reaches an underpass before yelling: ‘Stop filming me’ as the Good Samaritan replies: ‘What you are doing is inhuman, I’m not filming you, I’m filming the animal and what you’re doing.’
The six puppies of the dog who are now being cared for by a vet after being taken to an animal protection centre
Local reports claimed the sadist claimed at one point: ‘I can shoot whoever the f**k I want to shoot’ in reference to the bullet he allegedly put into his dog.
Horrified Maria Clara Celada wrote on Facebook: ‘He has to be punished. These acts of animal mistreatment cannot go unpunished. Thanks God the dog’s life was saved. God Bless the person who helped her.’
Another added: ‘These are examples of some of the psychopaths that live in our midst. Then they shoot their wives dead and we’re surprised!’
Virginia Gonzalez, who videoed the mistreatment with her husband Ramon Feijoo, told a local TV station: ‘We heard a shot and then a dog barking and saw this man with a gun.
‘He said he was taking the animal home, that he was a hunter and that he could do it. When we said we were going to call the police he started to drag it along the ground with a rope round its neck.
‘My husband began to film him because we didn’t know what was going to happen.’
The footage was later shared by animal rights organisations Mundo Vivo and PACMA.
The footage shows the moment the hunter drags the injured animal through a tunnel before dumping the dog on the ground.
The man then abandoned the dog which was later taken to the Rof Codina animal hospital.
Meanwhile, her six puppies, only 15 days old, were taken to an animal protection centre.
The organisation also shared some pictures of the puppies with the message: ‘These are the babies of the dog that is fighting for its life, the one that was shot, beaten up and dragged by a hunter in Chantada, Lugo… we hope that he will face the full force of the law… we need exemplary sentences for those monsters… who only deserve death’.
Mundo Vivo also said that the puppies are in good health.