A starving ten-month-old black labrador was left for dead after being used as ‘dog bait’ then abandoned at a local farm on Sunday morning.
Vets treating the dog have described it as the worst case of cruelty in their 24 year career.
The animal, that has been named Oscar, was discovered severely traumatised, anaemic and weak, suffering from severe bruising, with thousands of maggots coming from its ears and other parts of his body, and suffering from up to 50 puncture wounds.
The Doghouse Sanctuary based in Banbridge were contacted around 11am on Sunday, they then took the dog to the local vets.
Gillian McFadden, owner of the animal charity described Oscar’s condition as ‘sickening’ and said the dog’s condition remained critical.
“The dog was anaemic from severe blood loss when we got him,” said Gillian. “He was very weak and unsteady on his feet. We were told by the vets that his injuries were like that of an animal involved in a dog baiting attack.
“We took him to the vets and were told this was the worst case they had ever seen. We have never seen anything as sickening as this before.
“The dog was starved and the vets believe the reason for this was to make it more aggressive.”
Vets put the dog on pain medication and it was placed on a warm drip, and for up to six hours the vets described its condition as ‘touch and go.’
“He is still very critical,” said Gillian. “He is very lucky to be still alive at this stage.
“His ears had to be flushed out five times because of maggots. There were literally thousands of them coming from his ears and the vet believes he was being eaten from the inside and out by maggots.
“Four hours were also spent shaving and cleaning the animal and removing maggots.
“We were convinced because of the state of him he would just slip away, but he is still fighting to stay alive. The problem is he could go downhill very quickly at any time.
“If he recovers, he will stay with us. I do not think he could be rehomed due to the severity of his injuries. It might be too traumatic for him.”
DUP Group Leader on the ABC Council described the incident as ‘unacceptable.’
Councillor Carla Lockhart said, “Animal cruelty is all too prevalent in our society. It is totally unacceptable and it is time for the authorities, and local people to work together to stamp it out.
“The pictures of Oscar are horrific, this is barbaric and I along with the group intend to take a robust approach with our Animal Welfare officers on council.
“We also need our PSNI, courts and animal welfare charities to work together to bring about convictions. For all too long the people involving themselves in this type of activity are given a slap on the wrist by the courts. We need appropriate sentencing.
“I along with local Banbridge Councillors will be speaking and meeting with the Animal Welfare officers in council to try and get a handle on this escalating problem.”
Councillor Paul Greenfield said, “This is a horrific story and to hear of it happening in Banbridge is extremely disturbing. I would commend the good folks who rescued Oscar. This highlights a major problem that we have in our society with barbaric acts like this happening on a daily basis.
“We as a society need to act to stop this type of activity and it is only when we achieve a joined up approach to tackling this problem and people feel confident about reporting it that we will see a real change.”
To donate log onto the website https://www.justgiving.com/Save-Oscar Donations can also be posted directly to the sanctuary or to Iveagh Veterinary practice.