Police in Darlington have said there has been an increase in the number of "barbaric" cases of cruelty to cats, after which many of the animals needed pet medication.
Cat coursing is where cats are set upon by dogs and acting sergeant Gary Fenwick, of Darlington police, said it is a "bloodthirsty" crime that they are taking a zero tolerance approach to, reports darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk.
Albam Leggett allowed his cat Mitzi to be put down after a group of men set their dogs on the eight-year-old animal.
He told the news provider: "When I found Mitzi, he was in a terrible state. He tried to move, but he could not. He was howling when I picked him up. He made no attempt to get away from me and normally he would.
"I don't know why they do it. There's no sport in setting a dog on a pet cat. It's just barbaric."
Darlington is located in County Durham. It has a population of almost 100,000.