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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 16 September, 2014

Dog found under a pile of rubbish with his skull smashed is on the mend

The vet said the hunting dog, Fionn, had received a severe blunt force trauma to the head.

THE CORK DOG Action Welfare Group (CDAWG) is caring for a dog that was left to die in the woods last week.

The dog, who the welfare group called Fionn, was found by someone out walking in the woods.

He was lying in a spot where people dump rubbish and the vet who examined him said he had suffered a severe blow to the head. There were fears that Fionn might not be able to walk or that he may die, but after receiving great care at the shelter, he is said to be on the mend.

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Fionn being examined by the vet.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Margaret Twohig of CDAWG said it is believed that Fionn was in the ownership of a hunting club. She said that ownership of Fionn has been transferred to the the Dog Action Welfare Group.

She added that the person who owned Fionn has been identified and she has been told by the club the owner of Fionn has been expelled from the club.

Animal Rights

“The keeper of Fionn also had other hounds in his care and we have been told that these dogs have been removed from the premises,” she said.

“We wanted a commitment from the group that his dogs would be removed,” she said.

When Fionn was found she said he was barely alive and was cold to the touch. “He was covered in cuts and pressure sores, a mere skeleton, unable to move. It looked like he had been put there, in amongst the rubbish and left to die. The rain pouring down on his poor body,” she said.

The group called him Fionn after the legendary Celtic hero Fionn Mac Cumhail. They said it was the perfect name for him, as he was a great Irish warrior who fought and won many battles and had a special love for hounds.

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The place where Fionn was found.

X-rays revealed that he has a fractured skull due to a blunt force trauma to the head and they feared that he would not survive. However, in what Twohig describes as a “Christmas miracle” he was standing and walking yesterday.

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“The latest update from the vet is that Fionn is on the mend,” said Twohig. The vet said that looking at Fionn when he came in he did not think he was going to make it. “With a fractured skull, there was a possibility of brain damage or that he could have been paralysed, but it is great that he is up walking today,” she said.

Since the group posted Fionn’s story on Facebook, Twohig said they have been inundated with messages and support for Fionn from all over the world.

“We have received messages from the UK, Germany and South Africa, all wishing him well and asking for updates. An animal welfare group in Sweden is even holding a fundraiser for him,” she said, adding that she has never seen such a great public reaction to one story. “He really has touched people’s hearts,” she said.

She said that many people have offered Fionn a home but that they had to wait and see how he gets on over the Christmas.

While she said that Fionn’s story had obviously resonated with people, she said that they receive many calls about abandoned hounds.

She said that animal welfare rights “don’t mean much in this country” adding that there are people in power that can strengthen the laws.

Worst time for animal cruelty

She also said that while she has never had such an overwhelming reaction to Fionn’s story, that this is one of the worst times she has witnessed in animal cruelty, stating that while there are a lot of kind people out there, some people seem to have become “indifferent” to animals.

She urged people, especially at this time of year, to think about what it means to care for an animal, adding that puppies are not just for Christmas, they deserve to be loved, just like Fionn did, she said.

Cork Dog Action Welfare Group is a voluntary group and relies on donations. To find out more about the group please click here.

Read: Horse euthanised after being found with two broken legs in Wicklow estate>

Read: Men released after being questioned over horse shot dead in Kildare>

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