An illegal hunting dog is thought to be behind the killing of a family terrier.

Police have now seized five dogs in relation to the inquiry.

Three of these are believed to be illegal Dogo Argentinos.

These are large, white, muscular dogs which are bred for the purpose of big-game hunting, including the pursuit of wild boar and puma.

The dogs were seized by police on Monday, May 28 at an address in Hastings after the death of Betsy the Border terrier in Hastings Country Park on May 9.

Ronan Bond had taken his friend Simon Bartlett’s dog Betsy for a walk when she was mauled. The pet later died.

Describing the incident as “horrific”, Inspector Paul Phelps said: “He was walking his dog when it was savaged |by other dogs.

“This led to police arresting a man on suspicion of possessing illegal dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act.”

He said tests were being carried out to confirm the breeds of the animals.

Hastings Borough Council leader Jeremy Birch said: “Working in partnership with Hastings Police we have successfully been able to identify and seize the dogs, helping to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the town who enjoy our open spaces.”

A 29-year-old Hastings man has been bailed until June 25 on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place and possession of a fighting dog.