GALWAY PET OWNERS are being warned to keep a close eye on their animal companions after a cat was found decapitated and dumped in a suburban garden.
The shocking discovery was made by a man who had found a poisoned cat in his garden just a week earlier.
Now the Galway SPCA, an independent organisation that operates a no-kill shelter for animals, is asking people to be very careful with their pets.
Galway SPCA PRO Margaret O’Sullivan told TheJournal.ie that the cat’s body was found by the man in an estate very near the city centre on Sunday morning. The man believed it had been dumped overnight and kept the body in the garden so he could show the Galway SPCA on Monday.
The cat’s head has not been found.
On Monday, he discovered that the cat’s body had been moved – and not by another animal.
The cat was brought to the vet, who said that its head was removed using a sharp implement such as a cleaver, said Margaret.
This is the third time in around two years that the Galway SPCA has been alerted to a decapitated cat’s body being found.
“It’s frightening – I would be very worried,” said Margaret. “It was surgically done. It was a very neat job I’d say, it wasn’t jagged.”
She believes the cat was killed somewhere else and then dumped in the garden and that “if somebody did that once, they will do it again”.
She said the man “was horrified” after finding the animal’s body.
The Galway SPCA contacted the gardaí about the violent death of the cat.
While this was an extreme case, it is not the only example of animal cruelty that the Galway SPCA has seen in recent weeks.
In fact, the organisation sees animals being dumped by their owners on a daily basis.
People just don’t give a damn. All they care for is just getting rid of the problem. They will put it in a box in the middle of the road.
Recently a kitten (pictured above) was posted through the letter box of the Galway SPCA offices at 2a, Augustine St, Galway.
A man also found kittens dumped in a laundry basket beside a rubbish bin in Oranmore, who Margaret says could have been collected along with the rubbish if they had not been rescued.
They see dogs who have been starved, animals who suffer with mange and owners who refuse to neuter their pets.
I think really in regards to puppies and that kind of thing there is a blatant disregard for their life. People don’t care. We keep appealing with people but they don’t listen. It’s very hard to get people to neuter their pets. They will all say it’s the cost – but if you get a kitten you know that in six or seven months’ time you’ll have to neuter them so why not save up for it. I don’t know if it is that people expect everything for nothing.
We had one woman there not so long ago – she had kittens and she refused to neuter the cat, and she rang us the day before she went on holidays. She said if we didn’t take the kittens they would be thrown out.
Some people leave their pets with the Galway SPCA due to having to move back to their home country, and often they are very good at getting in touch with the organisation.
But some people aren’t always honest.
Some say ‘this is a lost cat’ and ‘this is a lost dog’ and you’re looking at one very healthy cat and one very healthy dog and you know they’re not lost. But they have you over the burners – they will dump them if you don’t take them. On a daily basis we get at least eight or nine calls from people finding lost cats or dogs.
The starving animals, that can be the one that kills you the most. It’s down to people who don’t give a damn and don’t care. But [after they come here] you see that animal turning around and filling up and finding a home.
Margaret said that it “really is difficult at the moment”. “We have no money like a lot of the sanctuaries. But we have a no kill policy. We keep going. You do it for the animals; you think of the animals.”
The Galway SPCA opened almost 30 years ago and Margaret has worked there for 15 years.
It has a second-hand shop to help raise funds but spends €30 a week getting rid of people’s rubbish as some people donate unsellable or dirty clothes or items.
“€30 would vaccinate a cat or a dog,” points out Margaret. ”Old people are brilliant. They come in and might only give you a euro, but you know that’s a euro they haven’t themselves. They are just so helpful and so kind it makes up for the others you have to deal with.”
At the moment, the Galway SPCA has 80 dogs and 50 cats in its care, many of which are looking for their ‘forever homes’ with kind owners.
“We are blessed with the staff and volunteers we have,” concluded Margaret. ”We will not say no to anything. Whether it has a broken leg or three legs or one eye missing, it is welcome here.”
Visit the Galway SPCA website or Facebook page>