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Sometimes, man can be a dog’s best friend

It was heartening to read that 2,000 people in Cork participated in a charity walk to raise funds for a lovely hunting dog who had been dumped with appalling injuries.

His injuries need retelling. He was beaten and his skull fractured. His kind Samaritan contacted the local animal welfare group, DAWG (Dog Action Welfare Group). He has almost recovered and has been named Fionn, and he led the walk. Donations were sent from Los Angeles, Canada, Spain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Any funds left over will help other dogs in the care of the group. They have raised €18,500 from the walk.

Fionn reminds me of a similar story, of a young black cat and his terrier friend, who were set upon in Limerick last year and had boiling water poured on them. They survived with skin wounds, and someone reported their situation to the nearest animal welfare group. Their loyalty to one another was so deep the vet had to treat them together. When they were separated, they made a big fuss. A lovely photograph showed the two of them together, in a cosy basket, hoping that the world would not treat them cruelly again. The look in that small black cat’s shining eyes would have brought tears from a stone. He looked a real cutie.

An important point in these stories is how someone found them and made that phone call to the nearest animal welfare group.

It is important for anyone to do that, if they see animal neglect. The animal welfare groups have the experience to intervene. There are many groups in the country: for example, the excellent Dogs’ Trust, in Dublin, who helped a pit-bull, a much-loved family pet, who is thought to have been abducted from his home a year before and may have ended up in England for dog-fighting. The Dogs’ Trust sent out an appeal and found his delighted owners near Cork. There are positive endings like that. It is sad there are people who have little understanding of animals. DAWG, and their supporters, have called for a beefing-up of the animal welfare laws. Animals deserve good care.

M Sullivan
College Road


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