A horrified couple returned to their home in Widnes to find their two dogs lying in a ‘pool of blood’ after they were beaten, stabbed, and hanged.

Ben Winstanley and his partner Paula Harrison had gone out, leaving their two Staffordshire Bull Terriers at home in the garden, protected by a 6ft fence.

Mr Winstanley’s parents entered the property later that day to find the dogs completely covered in blood. They thought an attempted break in might have gone wrong, but having searched the whole property, they realised that the dogs, Dexter and Tim, had been the targets.

Dexter, sadly, died after being rushed to the vets. He had been savagely beaten, stabbed in the neck, strangled, and then hanged.

Mr Winstanley found Tim cowering int he corner of the garden where he too had been beaten, punched, and strangled. Happily, Tim is expected to make a full recovery. The couple were told this was not an accident, but a “third party” had deliberately targeted the pets.

“I was just in shock and pain when the vet told me a third party had been involved,” said 34-year-old Mr Winstanley.

“Normal people don’t do that. I don’t understand. I just feel devastated and massively upset. I feel helpless because I wasn’t there when it happened.

“I don’t have a clue who it was. I don’t upset people, and I have no enemies. I don’t like thinking about what would have happened.

“They found Dexter lying in a pool of blood and his head was swollen like a watermelon. They took him to the vets, and they did what they could.”

Ms Harrison wants to encourage people to be more vigilant, describing the incident as “horrendous”.

“I don’t know who would do something like this, but it is someone who isn’t in the right frame of mind. I feel really bad for Ben because they were best friends.

“We just want to find the people that are responsible for it. I want to see them punished.”

According to Cheshire Constabulary: ““At 0922hrs Cheshire Police received a report that a dog had been found with injuries at an address in Widnes.

“The dog received treatment from a Vet but has died. We are working with the RSPCA to establish the circumstances of this incident.

“We are not currently aware of other incidents of this nature in the area. If anyone has any information that will assist with the investigation, they are asked to contact Cheshire Police.”