Almost 1,000 people inspired by a miracle dog’s survival story have signed up for a fundraising walk this weekend.
Animal welfare campaigners hope Fionn’s story, which has gone viral, will shame the Government into beefing up its animal cruelty legislation.
The foxhound was neglected, beaten, and left to die in woods in Douglas, just outside Cork City, before Christmas.
His skull was shattered. Emaciated and covered in cuts and pressure sores, Fionn was unable to lift his head.
The Cork Dog Action Welfare Group (Dawg) came to his assistance and he made some progress.
However, following an MRI scan in Dublin, Dawg and Fionn’s foster family in Rylane were given the option of putting him down or pressing ahead with high-risk surgery. They opted for surgery and he rallied.
While still blind in one eye, Fionn is making steady progress every day.
Dawg highlighted his plight on Facebook and spokeswoman Margaret Twohig said they got an incredible reaction from around the world.
“In all my years in animal rescue, I’ve never seen a dog touch so many people,” said Margaret. “The progress he has made is incredible.”
Dawg also reported the case to gardaí but said that, in the absence of any evidence, there is little they can do.
She said they identified the drag-hunting club to which Fionn belonged.
In a letter to the charity, the hunt said they have expelled the member who was supposed to be caring for Fionn before the dog went missing.
“He will never again be affiliated to our club and we will raise very strong objections should he try to join any other drag-hunting club,” said the club spokesman.
He said the club strives to provide their dogs with a high-quality of life while in the care of the club.
“Obviously we were not vigilant enough which had disastrous consequences for our hound,” said the spokesman. “As a result. we will be carrying out a full review of our standards and practices.”
Ms Twohig said Fionn’s treatment highlights the need for stronger and more effective animal cruelty legislation.
“If there is no deterrent, then some people will continue to do this kind of thing,” she said.
Dawg supporter Oonagh O’Brien is organising a massive fundraising walk on Sunday to help fund Fionn’s ongoing care and to help Dawg renovate their kennels.
She urged people to sign up at 10am at Curraheen Park greyhound stadium, for the walk.
“We are asking for a minimum donation of €10 and every single cent will go to Dawg,” she said.
nYou can find Dawg on Facebook by searching for Cork Dog Action Welfare Group.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved