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Dog hacked to death with axe on Valentine's Day

North Wexford SPCA said it was one of the “most brutal” cases of violence against an animal the group has seen.

File photo
File photo
Image: Dog image via Shutterstock

AN ANIMAL WELFARE group has called for action following the death of a terrier dog who was hacked to death with an axe by its owner at a property in Wexford on Valentine’s Day. The man later told inspectors that he was trying to put the dog down.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Colin Webb, Chairman of North Wexford SPCA said the organisation got a call on its emergency hotline on 14 February to a housing estate where they were told a dog was being attacked.

A female inspector, dropped by on her way from another call where Webb said the man made violent threats against her. The gardaí were called to the scene and negotiated with the owner for the dog to be taken away.

“It was still breathing at that point, only slightly though, and we knew he was practically dead at that stage,” Webb said. The dog was taken to the local veterinary clinic but died in the car on the way.

“We haven’t got the full report yet but the initial inspection shows the dog had a fractured skull, punctured ribs, multiple broken bones and a broken skull,” Webb said. “You can see from the photos we took that the axe went right into the dog’s head.”

Images seen by TheJournal.ie are too graphic to publish but they show serious slashes to the dog’s head and face as well as a number of puncture wounds.

Webb said this is one of the worst and “most brutal” cases of violence against an animal he has ever seen. “In terms of hostility against inspectors it’s the most serious threat we’ve seen as well, she was very shocked by it,” he said.

The owner of the dog told inspectors that he was trying to put it down but Webb said any unwanted dog can be surrendered to the local dog warden “without any hassle”, and when that option is available, it is “incomprehensible as why this pet owner felt this was an appropriate action”.

The incident was reported to gardaí and Webb said they are investigating the incident. “We want to see a prosecution on this,” he said. “We’re hoping that gardaí will secure a successful prosecution – the gardaí here are very good to us and they take these matters seriously. But we’ve been to court before and the cases have gone nowhere – it’s just so hard to get a conviction.”

Webb said the animal welfare group is “not confident” of a conviction and that they are frequently “frustrated with the law” around animal cruelty.

Read: Animal rights groups condemn ‘brutal attack’ on fox in Laois>
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