Derbyshire police are examining Facebook comments posted after two brothers admitted punching and kicking an elderly dog to death.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard yesterday how Thomas Hill and James Hill subjected the animal to a “very unhappy” experience while they were under the influence of drink or drugs.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Since the hearing, a large number of comments have been posted on Facebook.
“Many of them have been threatening in nature, with some people making direct threats to the brothers’ families.
“Derbyshire Constabulary takes comments of this nature extremely seriously.
“Officers are now investigating these comments and may take action under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.”
Prosecuting solicitor Michael Treharne said Thomas Hill, 20, of Houfton Road, Bolsover, and James Hill, 21, of Hillcrest Close, Bolsover, were in a house on Chesterfield Road in Shutlewood on November 10 last year.
He told magistrates: “Both men had had a great deal to influence their behaviour in the form of drink or drugs.
“The dog was picked up and thrown then punched and kicked.
“A veterinary pathology report said the dog died because of blunt trauma to its head.
“It also suffered a broken jaw and a tooth was knocked out.”
Mr Treharne said the dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Jack Russell called Tyson, was elderly and believed to have been deaf and blind.
He added: “This dog went through a very unhappy experience.
“It didn’t deserve the kind of death it endured.”
John Wilford, mitigating, said the brothers pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after pleading not guilty at an earlier hearing.
Thomas Hill also admitted arson and James Hill admitted arson and criminal damage.
Mr Treharne said those charges related to a door at the property which had been damaged by James Hill and then set alight by the brothers.
Setencing was adjourned until next Wednesday to allow probation officers to prepare a report for magistrates.