There's been a huge outcry from animal rights groups after an abandoned dog gave birth to six puppies while chained to a fence in the middle of a field in rural Ireland.
By, 21 Nov 2019
A member of the public found mum and her babies while walking through the local countryside in Elphin, County Roscommon. They contacted the police, who then reached out to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA.)
A shocking case of animal cruelty
Specially trained officers arrived on the scene shortly after and transported the black Lurcher and her puppies to a nearby animal hospital.
The animals were cold and hungry but free from any serious medical issues. It's unclear how long the dogs spent alone in the field, and the incident brought fierce condemnation from animal rights groups.
Hugh O'Toole is an ISPCA Centre Manager. He said:
"I don't understand how anyone can think it is OK to leave a dog tied to a gate to nurse her puppies. With the recent level of rainfall and cold weather this week, the outcome could have been very different, and I'm happy we were alerted so we could help them."
Attempts to locate the owner have been unsuccessful so far. If identified, they may face prosecution under Ireland's relatively new animal welfare laws.
Passed in 2013, the Animal Health and Welfare Act introduced fines of up to €250,000 and imprisonment for a maximum of five years for anyone convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
In the meantime, mum and her pup are in good hands.
UPDATE:— ISPCA (@ISPCA1) November 6, 2019
Emmy Lou and her six little puppies Billy Ray, Dixie, Dolly, Dotty, June and Patsy are all doing really well in #ISPCA care. #ThankYou so much to everyone who has donated https://t.co/cs94PJt0on ??
#rescuedog #AdoptDontShop #rehome #donate #puppylove #EndCruelty pic.twitter.com/jRSJaQUxv9
They'll remain in the care of the ISPCA until the New Year, and then the search for their perfect forever homes can begin.
There's no excuse for this type of behaviour
Countryside attitudes to animals can be very different from those of the urban pet owner. Breeds like Lurchers are still working dogs in many rural areas and are seen more like animals than pets.
But there's no excuse for abandoning a pregnant dog, and we hope that whoever was responsible is brought to justice.