Two policemen were observed biting a big mongrel dog after trying to arrest it for loitering with intent all morning in Gateshead.
A witness said that one policeman held the dog while the other one bit it.
A small crowd gathered and one elderly lady offered the policeman a bit of her sandwich, thinking he might be hungry.
Some people cheered the policemen. "That dog's a bloody nuisance, it's always loitering about and taunting police officers," said one resident.
Later in the afternoon, the same dog came back for more loitering. Passers-by urged the policemen to "do the biting business!"
The officers duly obliged - to roars of approval from the dog-hating crowd.
Gateshead police are among the first in the country to have introduced specialist training in dog-bites as part of their health-and-safety programme.