9 August 2017
The discovery of a dog’s weighed down remains in Newry Canal has prompted the USPCA to take the unusual step of offering a £500 reward for information leading to a conviction for its ‘horrendous’ death.
The carcass of the terrier-type dog, which had suffered obvious serious injuries and which had its lead deliberately tied through holes on a brick, was spotted by a member of public in the Canal near Damolly on Monday afternoon, and reported to the USPCA, who sent an Animal Welfare Officer to remove it from the water.
Speaking to the Reporter yesterday, a USPCA spokesperson said that the dog had died in a horrendous way, and that they considered it a possibility that it had been used for badger baiting.
“Obviously, you can see in the photograph what was done to the animal – it was very deliberately tied up with its own lead to a brick,” he said.
“[We do think] that the dog may have been used for badger digging. It is that type of animal, the size of animal. It has got facial injuries, which would be consistent, but it would be impossible to have a meaningful post-mortem [due to the time it was immersed in the water].
“It is a possibility - when those animals emerge from a badger dig they can be very, very badly injured and the bottom jaw can be torn off them. That would show consistent injuries with badger digging.”
The spokesperson estimated that the dog had been in the Canal for a week or so, and said that there had been ‘a traumatic injury to the animal’, which would likely have prevented its owner seeking treatment for it.
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“It is utterly pointless cruelty - the thing that would also maybe make us look towards the badger digging is that those responsible daren’t bring it to a vet.
“If they did, a vet would in all probability know what is going on from the injuries.”
The spokesperson also stated that he did not believe that the dog was already dead before it was dumped into the water.
“I think it is unlikely - if it had been they could’ve just taken the collar off it and thrown it at the back of a ditch.
“But the animal has been weighted down quite deliberately. It has been a deliberate act, and they even went to the trouble of getting the brick.”
He added that the offering of a reward by the USPCA was ‘infrequent’, and called on anyone with information to contact them.
“We are offering £500 to anybody who can give us information that we can pass on, and get someone convicted of this - we will gladly pay it,” he said. “Where it happened wouldn’t be a mile from our office and it is the horrendous way that animal has perished.
“If anybody has got a dog that is ill and they can’t afford veterinary treatment they should come to us with it - we will not let it out the door suffering.
“If someone doesn’t want a dog, there is a system to get rid of it - you ring the dog warden and say I want to relinquish my dog. You don’t do [what has happened to this dog].
“It is terrible, but it is not the first and it will not be the last.
“It is infrequent normally [that we would offer a reward], but we find something like this where there is an extreme act of cruelty, and we have no evidence.
“The dog should’ve been microchipped, but it wouldn’t have been microchipped or licensed, so we have no way of identifying the owner, other than somebody ringing us up and saying that ‘there are people down the road from us, and that dog is not there now’.
“We would like people to come forward.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have confirmed that its Animal Welfare Department has been notified of the matter.
“USPCA Newry reported the incident to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Animal Welfare Officers 8 August 2017,” a Council statement said.
“At this stage, USPCA Newry is dealing with the incident and will engage both the Council and the PSNI further should evidence for prosecution emerge.”
If you have any information in relation to this incident contact the USPCA on email@example.com or 028 30251000.