POLICE today arrested a man as they investigated a firework attack on a dog in Linthwaite.
They swooped on a house in Huddersfield in the early hours after making extensive inquiries throughout yesterday into the death of Emmie, a Yorkshire terrier.
A police spokesman said: "In the early hours of this morning, a 19-year-old local man was arrested in connection with the firework incident involving a dog in Linthwaite.
"He is currently in custody."
Police have now stepped up their inquiries into the attack - which they earlier labelled as "sickening" - and said they hoped to make more arrests.
At least three people are thought to have been involved in the incident in Gilroyd Lane, in which fireworks were allegedly fastened to Emmie, a much-loved pet belonging to Keith and Maureen Barrington, of Linthwaite.
The youths are also thought to have filmed the incident, in which the dog was ripped apart, on their mobile phones.
One theory being investigated is that Emmie was struck by a vehicle and may have been at the roadside.
Now angry pet owners plan to demand a ban on fireworks in the wake of the attack.
They have started a petition, which they intend to take to Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street.
They are calling for fireworks to be limited solely to public displays by authorised operators.
Mrs Judith Ahmet, of Birkby, is among the people collecting names for the petition.
"I cannot imagine anything more dreadful than what happened to the dog," she said.
"I love watching fireworks but after reading what they have done to someone's beloved pet, I will not be buying any more.
"Every year, we hear horror stories about the damage caused by fireworks. It is now time they were restricted to proper organised displays where people can be safe."
Mrs Ahmet and her friends hope to collect signatures in Huddersfield town centre later this week.
Copies of the petition can also be signed at Budleys Pet Grooming Parlour in Market Street, Milnsbridge, and people can offer support by ringing 07860 721979.
John Woodhead, a spokesman for the British Firework Association, also condemned the actions of the yobs.
He said: "It's not at all clear that this poor dog was killed by fireworks although it seems it was possibly a sick joke after the death of the pet.
"We are in touch with the police regarding this incident but until I have more detail, I'm not prepared to comment further except to say that the abuse of fireworks is totally unacceptable.
"The full weight of the law should be brought to bear on anyone convicted in this case."