A GOOSE killed on Whitehaven Harbour has been laid to rest at the animal sanctuary which cared for him before his death.

Billy the goose was a prominent resident on the town’s harbourside and there was an outpouring of sadness following his death on November 17.

A police investigation was launched and two teenage boys remain on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Mel James, of Ani-Mel Haven Animal Sanctuary had nursed Billy back to health following a foot injury, just weeks before his death.

Billy was cremated by Pets at Peace in Whitehaven and his remains are now with Mel at the sanctuary, where a memorial patch will be dedicated to him, alongside Mel’s own goose, Gerald.

She said: “I’m glad he’s here because he was happy here. I know he was happy on the harbour but that was where he was taken away. There are talks of doing some sort of memorial down there for him.

“I’m going to get something like a cherry tree here. Billy really bonded with one of my geese, Gerald, who was really old and never got on with any other geese.

“But when Billy came, he really struck up a bond with him. They used to follow each other about.

“We lost Gerald before Christmas and he’s buried here at the sanctuary so we’re going to put the memorial somewhere near Gerald.”

People are being encouraged to leave tributes to Billy, including drawings, photos and trinkets, which will then be displayed at the memorial patch.

Mel remains hopeful that the people responsible for Billy’s death are brought to justice.

She said: “Cruelty can’t just be swept under the carpet. It can’t be forgotten.”

Anyone who would like to leave a tribute to Billy can do so at The Abattoir body piercing shop on Roper Street in Whitehaven or at the Ani-Mel shop in Workington town centre.