Yesterday, Andrew Quinn, Waterford SPCA, had enlisted the help of Bord na gCon and the Irish Coursing Club in bringing to justice those who mutilated Aoife, the young female pedigree dog.
With her ears cut off, the dog was abandoned. She was found wandering the streets of Tramore, Co Waterford hungry, thirsty and terrified.
“It took us six hours to capture her,” explained Mr Quinn, such was her level of anxiety around people.
He believes that Aoife, having never reached her full potential as a racing or coursing greyhound, was savagely mutilated by “somebody who had invested heavily in her and when they did not get a return on that investment decided they would not waste the cost of a lethal injection from a vet.”
After her capture by the WSPCA last weekend, Aoife was given a full check-up by the vet, who decided to send her to a specialised unit where she can rehabilitate after her terrifying ordeal.
“Once she is back to full strength she will need reconstructive surgery on her ear canals to ensure her ears can be drained properly,” Mr Quinn said.
Breeding and ownership details are tagged on greyhounds’ ears. By removing her ears, her previous owner had made an obvious attempt to cover his tracks.
However, the WSPCA is confident that following the DNA checks that will be carried out by both Bord na gCon and the ICC, they will be able to uncover details which will lead them Aoife’s owner.
Referring to the mutilation, Mr Quinn said: “The first cut was very sudden and took one ear cleanly off, but the second, well, all I can say is that she put up some fight.”
Once the dog has made a complete recovery from reconstructive ear canal surgery, the WSPCA will then make a decision on a new home for the greyhound.
Already, the WSPCA has received offers from a number of people who want to give Aoife a loving home.
“We will very carefully decide on her new owner,” Mr Quinn said.
“One thing is certain, this dog will want for nothing.”
He stressed that the mutilation of greyhounds in this fashion was not a common occurrence, but there are a number of recorded cases.
Late last year, animal welfare officers dealt with an almost identical case in Co Tipperary in which a greyhound had its scalp mutilated and both ears removed.