Two dozen dogs were massacred as three men carried out a cruel and gruesome slaughter at an animal refuge.
Distraught Tiziana Gmannoissi returned to the refuge in Tunisia and found puppies had been force fed bleach and dogs beaten to death with sticks.
She told MailOnline that one puppy had a nail pushed into its eyes as the killers appeared to inflict torture on the poor animals before killing them.
Tiziana shared photographs – some we’ve chosen not to show – and footage showing the horrendous spectacle of death as the poor pooches are left lying in pools of blood.
But local islanders turned their ire on the police when they found out the three men had been arrested, as stray dogs are a problem on the island of Djerba.
Tiziana had been feeding and caring for stray dogs on a beach near the home she rents on the tourist hotspot island. At one point she had 120.
And this has attracted anger from local people, with a hoard of more than 100 armed vigilantes targeting the refuge, shouting ‘death to dogs and death to foreigners’.
Armed with axes, sticks and other weapons, they threatened to kill or rape those working there, in an attempt to intimidate them into leaving.
Most of the dogs fled after this.
Tiziana told MailOnline she feared the group wanted to finish what the three dog-killer had started.
Florence Heath, co-founder of Rescue Animal North Africa (RANA), said: “Volunteers came down from Tunis to help the remaining dogs so the villagers thought ‘hey we’re going to show them we mean business’.
“The men got arrested the afternoon after the attack but then everyone got up in arms. It brought back a wave of energy.”
The charity said the Djerba police station was targeted by protesters, with a mob forcing the police to release the suspected killers.
Stray dogs are a problem in Tunisia, with grim videos on social media depicting horrible acts of torture of the animals, seen as pests and vermin – akin to rats.
Indeed, the trio suspected of killing the 20 puppies and four dogs on Djerba had boasted online about the act.
Some of the refuge’s volunteers are Tunisian, however, a point Tiziana was at pains to stress.
A local, who did not wish to be named, told reporters that people were angry that the dogs had not been sterilised and appeared to be being left to their own devices on the popular beach.
She said it had been a two-year problem for locals.
Another refuge owner accused Tiziana of hoarding dogs, breeding puppies for sale, not allowing them to be adopted and said locals were angry with her for letting them roam the streets without vaccinations.
Tiziana denied all the allegations, claiming her dogs had been vaccinated.
The horror at the refuge was discovered on the morning of July 23, as Tiziana found the place had been ransacked.
Ms Heath said: “Some have been beaten with sticks. That’s not unusual for them.
“Others have another level of horror. Most of the puppies fed with bleach died. Their mothers stayed behind because they didn’t want to leave them and got caught too.
“There were 12 puppies and a few disabled ones. All the puppies and mums and the dog that was ill were kept inside the building.
“The ones inside couldn’t get away and were targeted and done for. Some of the others managed to escape.”
She said local police had been overrun by the mobs, who had carried out another attack following July 23.
RANA is a charity which takes dogs from refuges in Tunisia to be rehomed in Britain.