A woman and her five-year-old son have been branded ‘guardian angels’ for their work to rescue a dog who they reportedly saw being ‘punched in the head’.

Hayley Dodd left her home in Ellesmere Port to take her son, Roman, to school on December 1 when she claims to have witnessed the ‘heartbreaking’ sight that reduced them both to tears.

Hayley and Roman, who live on Rochester Drive, tried to intervene after they saw a man ‘punch a dog in the head four times’, but the man 'gripped the dog round the neck' and ran away dragging it across the floor ignoring its yelps.

Read More:Little boy 'traumatised' after watching man 'punch dog in head'

After following the man to his home, Hayley said the dog continued to release ‘unreal screams’, leading her to believe the man either continued to hurt the dog or had caused ‘so much pain it wouldn’t stop crying’.

She told the ECHO : "He hit the dog over the head four times - punching it in the head.

“The yelps and screams coming from it were heart breaking - they were unreal.

"I followed the man [...] and all I could hear was the dog screaming. The dog's legs weren’t even on the floor, he was just dragging it along."

Roman pleaded with his mum to come away from the man’s door, so to prevent further upset for her son, Hayley walked away 'heartbroken and devastated’.

A spokesperson for Cheshire Police confirmed the report and said they were received information regarding 'concerns for the welfare of a dog' in Ellesmere Port.

Cheshire Police said: "The caller reported that an unknown man had punched his dog in the street before entering a private address.

"The incident has also been reported to the RSPCA. "

Hayley, 37, took to a local Facebook group to tell people about what she had seen, inducing anger among the community.

Within the hour, the Facebook post reached attention from hundreds across Ellesmere Port who got behind Hayley and were determined to get the dog away from danger.

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As the day went on, the mum-of-one said she couldn't shake the image of the 'poor dog' in pain and knew she had to take action into her own hands.

Hayley exchanged messages with the dog's owner but after a visit to the dog's home and further messages from concerned residents, Hayley decided she was not comfortable with the dog remaining in the hands of its current owner.

Looking for help she reached out to local dog groomer and independent rescuer Carol Pinchin to find out how she could obtain legal ownership of the dog.

Carol told the ECHO that she explained to Hayley: "As long as Hayley and [the owner] signed and dated a piece of paper stating that the owner is handing over the dog, and as long as there is proof the dog has been sold to you then it would be enough evidence.

"Usually as a rescue, we wouldn't require a signature but they even had one for this so there is someone who was there to witness the exchange."

By the end of Wednesday Hayley had claimed 'legal ownership' of the dog.

Later that evening, Hayley posted about her success on the Facebook community page which was met with celebration from the locals who had watched the story unfold throughout the day.

Writing on Facebook, Hayley said: “Just let you all know, the girl has signed the dog over to me.

“He’s now safe in a foster home where he will never be beaten again.

“I will sleep happy tonight."

One person commented: “That's amazing well done love. You’re such a kind soul that steps up I'm so glad he's safe thanks to you total respect.”

A third person labelled Hayley’s actions ‘heroic’ while many others said.

One local posted her congratulations to everyone in the borough who united to ensure the dog was taken to safety.

“There's a hell of a lot of good people in the world and amongst them some absolute angels.

“Faith in humanity restored this eve.”

Since the rescue on Wednesday last week (November 30), Hayley said the dog has been handed into the care of a 'loving foster home' who will give the newly renamed Conca, named by Roman, the 'love he deserves'.

Carol, who helped rehome Conca, said since arriving at his new home he has transformed into a 'puppy'.

She said: "He is settling in nicely at his new foster home.

"He is not crying anymore, he's eating well, he's turning into a really happy dog and he'll receive the veterinary treatments he requires.

"He is sure to be loved and look after in his new home."