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RAF MILDENHALL, England — A British agency is working with American military officials in its investigation into the slaughter of a dog that belonged to an airman stationed at RAF Lakenheath.

The probe began late last month when a garbage collector discovered the dog, which had its throat slit, wrapped in a black plastic bag inside a blue household recycling bin. The bin was near the airman’s home, Lakenheath spokeswoman Capt. Beth Horine said.

The dog was described as a labrador, according to the Cambridge Evening News.

The incident occurred March 28 in this town known as the British horse racing capital, which also is home to scores of Americans.

The garbage collector contacted his manager, who in turn called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which launched a probe into the dog’s death.

RSPCA spokeswoman Sophie Wilkinson said the agency could not release many details while the probe is under way, but did confirm that the investigator is working with U.S. military officials in his investigation.

“We are cooperating in the investigation,” Horine said.

The grizzly discovery has prompted outrage in the Newmarket community, Wilkinson said.

“People tend to get quite upset about these things,” she said.

She said the incident was one of the more egregious cases the agency has handled lately.

“We don’t see a lot of out and out deliberate cruelty as much as we see neglect toward animals,” Wilkinson said. “This one is particularly cruel.”

The RSPCA has six months from the date it launched its investigation to file charges against a suspect.

The maximum penalty for this crime is six months in prison, according to Wilkinson.

The RSPCA was founded in 1824 for the protection of livestock and has since expanded into nearly all types of animals.

It has 323 uniformed inspectors and 146 animal collection officers in England and Wales working for animals in distress, according to the agency’s Web site.

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