In a case of animal cruelty, a butcher killed a lactating dog for trying to steal meat from his shop.

The accused, identified as 20-year-old Irshad Khureshi, killed the dog after catching it stealing meat from the butcher shop. The incident occured in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on Sunday night

“He threw a knife which landed directly on her neck, she ran for a while to her litter but died on the way,” a witness said.

A police complaint was filed by Sunil Kumbhar, a witness, following which the butcher was taken to the police station by the locals. He confessed to the crime and was put behind bars.

Recalling the incident, Kumbhar said he noticed a trail of blood on the road and found a female dog curled up, bleeding profusely.

“I began to ask people who had attacked her. That was when we animal lovers in the locality learnt that a young butcher had stabbed her as he disliked the dog regularly coming to the shop in search of food,” he said.

The dog’s body was taken to an animal hospital for autopsy. Meanwhile, following the death of the canine, the locals discovered that the animal had given birth to litter. The dog resorted to stealing meat as it was hungry and lactating. Bhavin Gathani, who runs an animal shelter, rescued the newborn puppies.

“We got a call from the area and we rushed over there with the ambulance and for now, we transferred them to Aman Walia shelter in Naigaon. When we got to know about the litter, we went over there and I nearly cried on the spot. I saw the state they were on. They were very hungry and we fed them baby food, they ate like their life was depended on it. I feel so angry because these innocent puppies are now motherless," Gathani said.

“It is alarming to read about increasing stories of animal cruelty these days. The female dog was only trying to take  away a few pieces of mutton scattered on the ground so that  she could later feed her six puppies," Gathani added.

Stray dog saves woman from attacker A stray dog is pictured in front of La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, July 26, 2017. Photo: Getty Images/AFP/ Martin Bernetti