Bodies of mutilated dogs found in river


ANIMAL WELFARE workers were stunned by the extent of cruelty behind the deaths of two unwanted greyhounds. The badly mutilated bodies were recovered this week from a tributary of the river Foyle near St Johnston, Co Donegal.

Experts reckoned they were about three years old when dumped with weights in the water. They had probably ended their racing lives either through injury or for some other reason and their owner was no longer prepared to give them a home. The ears, where racing greyhounds carry identification marks, were cut off one of the dogs, a male.

There was part of a rope around the neck of the other, a female, indicating a weight had been attached before she was dropped in the river, probably from a bridge over the Suille river near the Northern Ireland Border. The female's head had been almost entirely eaten by rats.

The bodies were spotted floating on Wednesday morning by a local farmer near St Johnston.

ISPCA inspector Kevin McGinley removed the carcases from the river. He was still shocked when he spoke yesterday about the discovery. "It is mind-blowing that such wanton cruelty exists. It just reminds us of the need for people to have a change of attitude towards animal welfare."

Mr McGinley said it was not possible to say if the dogs were dead or alive when dumped, because of the decomposition.

"This is as bad as it gets. People who are capable of doing something like this to animals could be just as capable of human abuse and that worries me."