A much-loved family pet was left terrified when yobs set fire to his lead outside a supermarket – while the dog was attached to it. Conker, a 12-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was waiting patiently for owner Simon Graham outside the Tesco store, in New Bridge Road, Workington, when the incident happened. Simon, 48, said that he and Conker walk to the shop from their home in Beeby Court, off Senhouse Street, two or three times a week.
“I usually tie Conker up at the front of the store, about four or five feet from the kiddies play things,” he explained. “I did this as normal on Monday afternoon, and tied him to a pillar.” “He usually ends up with huge crowds of old ladies around him normally, because he does a good job of looking abandoned and lonely!”
Simon , who is currently looking for work, said he was only in Tesco for “10 to 15 minutes” before returning to retrieve his beloved pooch. He continued: “Conker was looking a bit more perplexed than usual, and as I went to untie him I realised the lead was smouldering.
“It had burned right through, so I had one hand on Conker’s collar and the other trying to put out and cool down the hot embers.” Fortunately the dog was far enough away from the burning to avoid injury, but it left him shaken. “I took him down to the river and he went for a swim which cooled him down and he was fine after,” Simon said. “There are quite a few animal incidents at the moment – last year it was people setting fire to nature reserves, now this. Simon said: “I just want to catch the people who did it: it is mindless.”
Police are keen to speak to two men, both wearing grey, who were in the area at the time. Simon believes that there were also children and their mother on the children’s ride nearby who may have witnessed the incident. A spokeswoman for Cumbria Police asked for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Phone Workington police station on 101.