They were scalded with boiling water and left for dead.
But the pup and kitten — dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde” — clung to life, clung to each other, and are now looking for a loving home.
The month-old shitsu-spaniel dog and the common (or garden) cat had been spotted wandering for days near the village of Ardfert, near Tralee, limping and “begging”, said Suzanne Gibbons, founder of the national animal shelter Animal Heaven, Animal Rescue.
One woman contacted the shelter when the pair arrived at her house. The dog, Clyde, had been licking the cat’s wounds to help heal them, and the cat would not leave his side.
“That night the cat screamed and went berserk when the vet tried to examine the dog on the table, and vice versa,” said Ms Gibbons.
Eventually, the only solution was that pair had to be examined together. A scan and examination showed several third degree burns on each animal — from boiling water.
“It was as if they had been in a fire,” said Ms Gibbons. “The intention was to kill them. We have no doubt about that.”
Appeals for information, even with the offer of a financial award, have not yielded information, but Ms Gibbons is convinced “someone, somewhere knows what happened”.
She is waiting for somebody to offer to take on both of the animals.
Ms Gibbons, who rents a farm at Gneeveguilla, near Killarney, says record numbers of dogs are being abandoned. She rescues up to two dogs a week now from “death row” in the Kerry pound alone, but also from pounds all over the country.
Cost is a factor. A dog licence can cost €140 plus veterinary bills and food.
“It’s no longer the average mutt — really expensive pedigree dogs are being abandoned,” she said.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved