A 17-year old girl has been arrested in Russia after posting pictures of animal abuse on social media.
She is alleged to have told volunteers at animal rescue shelters that she was picking up a dog for an older woman. However, pictures of the dog, who had clearly suffered physical abuse, were later shared on social media.
Graphic pictures of animal abuse directed at this dog and others were also posted online.
A 16-year old girl is described by Russian police as a “witness” in the case, after she too posted pictures and messages about the alleged crimes on the internet.
According to Russian media, the girls are from Khabarovsk in far eastern Russia, but the arrest took place in Tolmachevo airport, central Russia.
Local media report that the girl is now in a secure children’s healthcare facility, after threatening to commit suicide and telling investigators that she “hears voices” which command her to kill dogs.
The news has shocked Russians and a petition calling for legal action against the girls is reported to have gathered upwards of 36,000 signatures.
Under Russian law, animal abuse can carry a custodial sentence of up to two years in prison.